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When Men Are Cheated On

If Google analytics are to be believed (and they know everything right?) about half of the people who read here are men.

Where are they? Mostly lurking. (Assuming they aren’t your stalking ex. Google doesn’t have a break down for that. Yet.)

With 26 million-plus page views and nearly 5 million unique visitors — that’s a lot of guys with a morbid curiosity about infidelity.

Probably because it happened to them. And no one talks about it.

Until today I’d never devoted a column to what exactly makes the guy chump experience uniquely sucktacular. A reader reached out to me on Twitter to ask for this column, (I can only assume because guy chumps aren’t knocking down doors to write it.)

But first some caveats — THIS IS NOT THE PAIN OLYMPICS. Today we’re going to be empathetic to the good guys, the men who loved with their whole hearts, and got played. I too am owed thousands in back child support. I am painfully aware of the Patriarchy. Women usually have it worse by many measures. Understood. But if you care about justice, you care about it for everyone.

And if you believe in the full humanity of all — then you also understand that Everyone Can Suck. Women can suck, gay people can suck… Because we’re human, a portion of us are going to suck. Accepting that there are guy chumps, we must also accept that some straight women and gay men are terrible people.

Also, this isn’t a valentine to the Men’s Rights trolls, those incels who hate everything with an ovary. This is about our people — chumps. Guys who believed in commitment and family, and got fucked over. Without further ado.

What Uniquely Sucks About Being a Guy Chump:

1.) Paternity testing. Everything is so jolly about those made-for-TV cheater romances, but you never see the DNA kits. Left off screen is the guy who has to cheek swab his child. Or tortures himself thinking about it.

The accepted narrative (if we talk about this at all) is that of COURSE the man loves the child he was deceived into thinking was his. And okay, his wife was naughty, but Wasn’t It All For The Best because Love Is Love?

No one imagines the horror of such a betrayal. To the man, and the child. The cheater receives the investment of this man’s love and support, and the child has a primal bond with a parent risked, damaged, or destroyed — because of a mother’s deceit.

And the story is always told as the mother’s Forbidden Love or the Terrible Shame she carries for not being able to speak of her dalliance. It’s never cast as a monstrously selfish, cruel thing to do to the people you purport to love. Or seen as theft of another’s reality.

2.) Everyone assumes you suck. Did you get divorced? Oh men are dogs. You must be the villain here, the cheater, the person who wasn’t Meeting Her Needs.

3.) Men don’t talk about it. Whereas women have support systems, girls nights out, and box wine memes, men have crickets. If you can’t talk about it, how do you find the men who’ve gone through it? Do they find you? Do you tell your best friend?

4.) “Cuck.” (Short for cuckold.) We can thank white supremacists for this all-purpose insult to denote weakness.

The cultural importance of the cuckold in America is rooted in racism: in pornography, the wife of the cuckolded (almost exclusively white) husband is most commonly sleeping with African-American men, meant to provide an additional layer of humiliation if the white husband sees that man as “inferior.” In the world of pornography meant to elicit humiliation as an erotic sentiment, cuckold porn takes advantage of its viewers’ racist perceptions.

Yeah. Women get called a lot of things, but we don’t have “cuck.”

5.) Custody. States are coming round to 50/50 custody, but the fact is, if you divorce you’ll lose time with your children. That’s true for both men and women, but more time lost is generally only true for men. A lot of guys get chumped and then are looking down the barrel of every other weekend.

6.) Having to pay child support and/or alimony to your ex and her affair partner(s). Every other weekend, plus the cherry on the shit sundae of paying for the privilege.

Every good man supports his children. And child support doesn’t in any way approximate the costs of what it takes to raise a child — however, there is a unique horror in writing a check so that another man (a man who fucked your then-wife) can raise your child.

My only advice to you chumps is — it’s expensive because it’s worth it. Alimony to a cheater is like paying for mold remediation or asbestos removal. You can’t live with it, and you have to pay to get rid of it.

Guy chumps, just remember — as a faithful, whole-heart loving man — you’re a stock that trades high. Never forget it. All the best!

Also, it’s time to come out of the shadows and comment today.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • ALL my love to you men who were chumped. And if you had children I hope you keep being that sane and responsible parent! I hope you read Chump Lady books (she includes men who were truly scarred by such a betrayal of trust).

    • We all walk the silent screaming road of being chumped , men and woman who never saw it coming blindsided by some one you loved, my divorce is nearly over my children I only see for half of the week, there is light at the end of the road. There were times I could not see a way forward the pain was to much, it’s taken me over two years to get to where I can think straight again. You don’t see any happiness in those dark days of discovery when your world falls apart.
      I think how my children have been through the mill too, there dad grumpy with no smile I feel that I robbed them of fun at that time.. I will never forget how my ex sat our eight year old daughter down and told her we were separating,
      Thank you for your column it got me through some very tough times . Regards

      • Sorry for your pain Gary!! It took me about 4 years to bury the pain after DDay. So, I hear you brother and, you’re in the right place (Chump Nation). Hang in there for your kids.

        • Thank you turbo for your kind words, I feel your pain too , we are both strong now , I have 2 beautiful daughters who make me so happy when I have them take care my friend

  • Many a good man has been screwed over by a BPD, narcissistic or just plain selfish partner. I salute all the hard yards you did/do to support your families, only to find that the 50/50 you thought you had, had been devalued by someone who don’t realise the gold they had in their own back yard and went looking for greener pastures. It sucks, but you definitely don’t and as Chump Lady said, you’re stock trades high in the world, so let yourself move on and there will be plenty of good ones waiting to appreciate what you have to offer. Another point, there’s not many things more hurtful to a child than to realise that your mother figure is a damaged, possibly disordered person, so thank you to all those dads who are the sane parent and soft place to land for hurting kids.

  • I wonder if he keeps the beautiful Oak tree manicured in the back yard of my former house like I did. The Oak tree that I planted and nurtured through the drought 24 years ago. The one my children played under. My sister says it’s always the backdrop for their FB pics together.

    • Clearly, you’re the one who nurtures and they’re parasites. Hugs to you, SuperDuperChump.

    • One day in the future that very tree may tell a different story of a different family who will appreciate the time and care given by you.

    • I heard this quote the other day:

      “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time to plant one is now.”

      Sending you strength.

    • Gah. This hit me right in the guts. I’m so sorry.

      My idiot ex husband cheater has destroyed the garden at the OW’s house (formerly her marital home. Her husband kept it beautiful and even did all the housework.)

      I think these people like to shit on everyone and everything else.

      I hope you find a new tree to nurture in a new garden where you can feel happy and secure. You’re not backdrop for their drama anymore.

  • I’m a chump, too. She was a serial cheater and left me for an affair pattern, whom she then married to get out of the morality clause of our divorce decree. She couldn’t wait 6 months to introduce her boyfriend to our kids. I lost everything – I had to buy her out of my business, sell the house, and she walked away with everything. I pay HER child support and we share the kids 50/50. I resent the hell out of my lawyer and the legal system. But I still do the right thing for the kids every step of the way. And I hold myself accountable to continue being the best dad that I can be.

    • The legal system is harsh on the “higher income earner”, it assumes we are rolling and it’s very punishing. I’m the chump. I bought him out of the house, I share 50/50 child custody and still have to pay him $800/month in child support. Plus 60% of child expenses. On top of that, he spends MY money on a new SUV and his girlfriend, and I’m buying clothes for my children while they are at his house, because he doesn’t clothe them. Meanwhile I can barely afford to put gas in my car and I look under couch cushions to gather bus fare. But….I’m the higher income earner.

      I was always very resentful of the legal system and my lawyer. I kept shouting (yes,I was hardly ever not shouting) at my lawyer that the system assumes I’m a stay at home mom with no means to support myself, and because I’m none of those things, I’m being punished like a man.
      It was an eye opener on the legal system. The family law system. And just very discouraging. I screamed into a pillow (and without a pillow) many days, at the unfairness if my situation. It will get better for us! The kids will turn 18 some day and we can stop sending checks.

      • I don’t know what the solution is. My XW pays me *exactly* what you pay your XH. I don’t feel it’s unfair at all because (1) she earned 50% more than me at divorce, mainly because I’d put my career on the back burner to look after the kids, house, etc., (2) she swapped me out for her younger and higher-paid AP, so she has the financial resources to pay more, and (3) she’s the one who had the affair. I am in an extremely conservative state, but still the only thing that was considered at time of divorce was our respective salaries. There is absolutely no way she could have had the career she’s had AND had three kids without be doing the vast majority of the homefront work, yet as soon as our youngest got to school age she expected to walk away with 100% of her salary while also claiming 50% of the kids.

        As far as I can tell, the family court has explicitly (and deliberately) removed any discussion of which parent had put more into the family (except for the most egregious cases) or which parent engaged in morally dubious behavior (except for the most egregious cases). As long as that’s the way the system works, you (a blameless chump) are going to be treated the same as my XW (a philandering hussy). My state even has at-fault divorce, but I didn’t bother pursuing it because I was advised that though I’d probably win, I’d need to have my daughter testify (since she had the only direct knowledge of the affair) and at best it would affect asset distribution only slightly (that is, my increased share of family assets wouldn’t pay the extra legal costs associated with a court battle). Basically, family law has given up on trying to assign blame in divorce cases, so all that’s left is a spreadsheet.

        • 100% correct that it comes down to spreadsheets.

          In my case, STBXH and I had very similar incomes, but he lost his job (where he was having his affair) and had trouble finding work after. My child support $ is based on what he makes now vs what I make.
          I put him through school. We were looking into MBA programs for him just before I discovered his affair so I’m just grateful I didn’t end up paying for more of his degrees.
          With 3 kids, I would say I still carried all the load, as lots mothers do when they have a selfish and self-absorbed husband. He helped minimally. I progressed in my career at the same time, and I don’t attribute that to him. I work hard, and I didnt sleep much.

          The only thing I’m grateful for is that he agreed to not pursue alimony. Mostly because lawyers agreed it would be tough to demonstrate need. We’re the same age, university educated (I paid for his!) And same income level until just recently.

          • Yep. You got screwed. Lots of male chumps get screwed too. I don’t think it’s really about gender, except to the extent that typically women tend to put more into the family (and therefore less into their careers) than men do, so the most common direction of income transfer seems to be male-to-female. But since divorces are evaluated case-by-case, there are plenty of women (like you) who get caught on the unfair side. It’s galling when people make blanket statements about a situation and you’re left sputtering “but my case is the complete opposite of that!” If it’ll help, I’ll buy you a beer next time you’re in Atlanta.

        • Yes I live in a conservative fault state – this was not my XH’s first rodeo and they said it wouldn’t matter at all!

        • Involuntary Georgian,

          I left a high paying job in early 2013 and went into the worst depression of my life. I didn’t fully realize it, but I was also battling Type II diabetes. The FW XW fell in wuv w/her AP, her then boss, according to her almost immediately when he became her boss at the beginning of 2015. By the end of 2016, he’d picked up on her unrequited wuv and told her he felt the same. Then they had an affair for 3-4 months, w/me wondering why she got colder to me than ever after 24.5 yrs of a loving marriage (at least on my end). Not a perfect marriage, but I definitely truly loved and lusted for her all along, and was totally faithful.

          I found lower paying jobs after leaving my profession, in an effort to continue to help support the family. When I finally confronted her, she left me w/in two weeks, w/barely a glance back. After 6 months w/out her (but w/them living in an apartment literally 1/2 mile down the street from me), I finally realized I had to divorce her and got a lawyer.

          I’m paying her right now out of my retirement money her half of the principal of our former house (now mine), plus 25K, which is funny because she originally told me she wouldn’t ask for anything else since she didn’t want to hurt me anymore, when I confronted her on D-day. She got fired then found another job that made more than mine, three months after being informed she would be losing her job (but only one month after actually being booted out).

          She pays me child support. Initially, she balked at paying me roughly $122/mo for it, then agreed to $100/mo (there was about a $10,000 difference in our salaries, at that point). She proceeded to pay me $145/mo because she felt guilty that I was covering our youngest’s cell phone plan all alone. But you’re right, it came down to a spreadsheet for the court. It was about income inequality, and nothing else. And she still tried to fight it at first.

          This past winter she upped it to $200+/mo, because she got promoted at her work. She did it w/the caveat that I provide proof that I’m still making roughly the same amount as last year. I ghosted her on this. I didn’t ask for it, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to jump through hoops anymore for her. She kept paying it w/out me saying a word or doing a thing. I’m still attributing that to her sense of guilt.

          I know I got off easier than a lot of other male chumps. That makes me sad. But my anger at the XW is unabated. I feel if there were true justice, any cheater would give up any claim to any money from their chump, and custody would be awarded to the chump providing they’re a sane, normal parent. The cheater would only get custody time after they proved they were acting sane and in the child’s best interests. But the reality is, how the hell does the court do that? So we’re stuck w/this very unfair, unequal, and unjust system. We need to figure out how to make it work better. Just my two cents.

          Here’s a wish for a more peaceful and prosperous future for all my fellow brother chumps. We may have been discarded, but let’s prove to those treacherous former wives that we’re survivors and thrivers. All the best to all chumps and their families. And thank you, Tracy, for shining a light on the men who loved their partners the w/all their hearts and to the best of their abilities, but were dumped and chumped anyway. Fuckwits, beware! We’re becoming wise to you now.

          • thelongrun, the only thing my STBXW will not agree on is the child support & maintenance. Which my lawyer and vocational expert have looked the numbers over and $1600/month is what they came up with. She resigned from her position to try and avoid paying and trying to get me to pay her. She fucked me over again and I’m not backing down from it. She didn’t think I’d leave her this time and that I would forgive and forget as I did the previous times.
            I have made what I think is a decent offer to her. If she lets me have full custody of the kids then I would take no money from her. She values her money a lot and I have always been the primary caretaker of the kids son we’ll see what happens. Her boyfriend just today agreed to only see his youngest son every other weekend. So I’m hoping she follows suit so they can spend more of their precious time together.
            I’m about a 1 1/2 years out from confronting her and I have come along way since then. I had the support from some great friends, a new great woman by my side, my community in which we both live and they have disowned these two assholes and of course CL & CN. I hope you continue to heal and get stronger as each day passes. I stand behind you, and our chump brothers and sisters!

            • That sucks, ChumpTight. Hang in there, and no, I agree, don’t back down. My wish for you is what you wished for me: to heal and get stronger every day. May your Tuesday be sooner rather than later, and may your path to meh be shorter, not longer. That goes for all of us chumps.

        • I am right there with you.
          I have my needs met but he will be a very rich man when his obligated payments come to an end.
          I will have enough, but he has the significantly higher paying job, the ability to grow his retirement and take expensive trips with our children. I will not.
          If I had to do it over, I would have kept separate accounts and made him pay ME for all the support that got his sorry ass into his high paying job.

      • Our 42 years together came down to a spreadsheet — that I created! I filed as soon as I got confirmation of the affair. What more is there to say when your husband gets six inches from your face and says “yes, I really love her AND I DON’T LOVE YOU.” AP is married to an attorney (who is in a nursing home, dying of dementia) and AP was a former legal secretary. I filed ASAP to protect my retirement. So glad I did. I hit my ex while he was still in lust land with his AP and feeling guilty. Walked away with 2/3 of the marital assets, but I was the high income earner and HE never wanted to spend any money with me. I suspect AP is hurting for money with her husband in a non-Medicare funded nursing home bed. My ex is an idiot, but he is HER idiot now.

    • I’m sorry that this happened to you. Keep being the best dad you can be! Great dads rock, seriously. Your kids will know the truth someday.

    • Thank you for sharing DaddyPants. It’s not often that I hear that men get screwed over too. Sorry that things went the way it did. I don’t think it’s fair that most states are “no fault” so a person can screw you over and make you pay them for it. That’s just backwards. Hang in there.

  • My dad and I did a paternity test when I was in my forties (I’m his). I have no idea what my mom did to make him think I might not be his, but I know she slept around alot (even locked my little sister and me in the house while she was out with men) after their divorce because I caught her in the act and she beat me when I told her. She also kept us estranged from my dad. Now that I’m an adult and have removed myself from my relationship with my abusive mother I have been able to restore things a bit with my dad and realize that the nasty woman I dealt with at home was even nastier to him. 😔
    I’m so sorry men. Some women are real trash and extraordinary liars.

    • I’m so sorry this happened to you! I’m glad you are taking steps as an adult to distance yourself from the abuse. Take good care of yourself!

    • That’s awful. Thanks for sharing. One of the first people I started to tell my story to responded by telling me about her estranged mother. It went a long way in helping me piece reality together.

  • Most definitely a worthy post to acknowledge the many issues faced by men in this situation–and extra props to those men who break this taboo and speak honestly from the heart about it.

    The Atlantic had an article last year about the popularity of DNA testing that opened with a paternity surprise (“When a DNA Test Shatters Your Identity”). Some in the woman’s family didn’t think the her mother’s cheating was that big a deal. (It isn’t even named as cheating in the opening.) So frustrating and wrong! (She, however, took it seriously, stopped discussing it with some family, found her biological father, and started a support group on Facebook–a mighty response!)

  • I am not a male chump but I can relate to being chumped.

    My divorce has been expensive and I was left financially devastated.Had to borrow money to pay for this. I had to change lawyers but the bonus was that I was referred to a great lawyer who is the reason that I have some hope now. Anyhow, this article is right, divorce is expensive, but like asbestos, once it is in your life, it’s there and causing trouble. Getting rid of cheaters is worth it before they destroy you and your finances.

  • Thanks, Tracy, well executed.

    I would add one more thing that sucks: Say that, along with your wife’s infidelity, you suffered years of manipulation and emotional abuse because you were trying to hold your family together for the kids. And rather than kill yourself or drown the rest of your life in hard alcohol, you reach out to the people closest to you for help about that abuse. Everyone rallies to your side, right?

    Haha! No, on top of everything else, you’re treated as a wuss and a pariah.

    • Ugh. That just stinks.

      More needs to be shouted from the treetops about the fact that women can and do abuse men. They may not hit them as hard, or as frequently, but they are every bit as capable of committing violence and emotional abuse.

      • No doubt! My STBXW used to hit me and verbally abuse me often but I just took it. She even punched me in the face in front of an officer once and I declined to press charges. I had confronted her about her behavior while out one night. She was groping some guy she knew from middle school. Wish I would have pursued that. Another time she gave me a bloody nose. Of course I never raised a hand ever. She just didn’t like to be confronted about her whoring ways.

        • ” She even punched me in the face in front of an officer once and I declined to press charges.”

          I didn’t know that you could decline at that point. Seriously. I thought if it was witnessed by an officer they could simply arrest her for assault and the state takes over from there.

          I am so very sorry. You are so much better off without her but at the time you were singing from a completely different song sheet than she was and didn’t know it.

          • Women physically abuse men almost as much as men abuse women. (Erin Pizzey says this much, and she opened the first domestic violence shelter in 1971.) Women are also more likely to use objects when hitting (knives, guns, a can of soup, I know a man whose wife came up behind him and beat him over the head with a cooler), to beat a partner while that partner is sleeping, and to aim for the genitals while hitting. Society seems to expect women to throw fits and so enables them to get away with it. Since women are, by and large, smaller than men, they can’t do much harm – or so goes the defective narrative.

            “According to surveys and crime statistics, a man is battered every 37.8 seconds in domestic violence incidents across America. Surveys show women strike the first blow in about half of the domestic disputes nationwide, and a National Violence Against Women survey even unexpectedly found that nearly 40 percent of domestic violence victims annually are men. Police in states nationwide are receiving training in how to identify the “primary aggressor” in domestic violence, and police crackdowns on spouse/partner abuse are netting more and more arrests of women as the abusers. ” (See Philip W. Cook’s book, “Abused Men: the Hidden Side of Domestic Violence”.)

            I speak as a woman who fled an abusive man. I had hotlines and shelters available to me. I know several men who had wives and partners who physically and sexually abused them. No shelters for men, though. The women’s groups fight to have them closed when someone dares to open one. Several years ago, in Toronto, there was a billboard featuring a woman raising her hand to a man in a threatening gesture, along with a hotline for men to call. The local women’s groups deemed it misogynist and since they have funding, they got it removed.

            The elephant in the room seems to be: it is not permitted to say thst women can be just as abusive as men can, and in the same ways. Part of being recognized as equal means being recognized as having complete agency: women are just as capable as men of choosing evil over good. We seem to be stuck in a Victorian narrative that women are by nature caring and nurturing, and inherently less capable of violence and deceit. I am no right winger, for the record. But this much has become clear to me.

            • AMEN. I’m a woman that supports equal rights but that means equal. I’m even think draft registration should include females.

      • I’m a guy chump too. Married 21 years, together nearly 23 years. Have two boys aged 12, one with ADHD and ODD. Our marriage had ups and downs like any other, but I loved her dearly and would never cheat on her or hurt her (she was married briefly before me and said her first husband cheated on her).

        On November 2nd, 2018, she left. She said she was overwhelmed dealing with our ODD son and needed a break. She said I was a good dad, husband, provider, etc. but felt like we had become roommates and intimacy was down, due partly to the fact that I worked days and she worked nights so one of us was always with the boys.

        She was supposed to be staying at her moms for 30 days. After 30 days she announced she wanted a divorce. She denied seeing anyone but said someone was “interested “ in her. She backed off the divorce after pleading by me.

        I subsequently found out from her mother and brother she had rarely stayed at her moms but was living 70 miles away with a guy she met online. I also learned there had been others as well. I found pictures of them together on Facebook at the beach and a hockey game, looking very much like a couple.

        I tried getting her to attend marriage counseling. She wouldn’t. She initially denied but eventually again asked for a divorce and said they had been “friends “ for over a year, but wouldn’t say how they met ( my brother in law thinks dating sites).

        I continued to try to work things out while she continued to live with her schmoopie.
        On Mother’s Day, I asked her if I should file for divorce since it had been more than 6 months. She then said she didn’t know what she wanted.

        She came by a couple weeks later and was very kind to me, hugging and kissing me and talking about the family doing something together on Father’s Day, even though she continued to live with her boyfriend and listed her status as separated on Facebook.

        The day before Father’s Day, my son found pictures of the two of them on Facebook, proclaiming their love for each other. I called her on it.

        A week later, she said she wasn’t in love with me. She said she didn’t want to be around a “tornado “(what she called our ADHD son) and hadn’t loved me for years.

        I filed for divorce on June 24th. Since she left, she’s seen her sons about 10 times. Her mother and brother have essentially disowned her. The entire family is devastated.

        • Dear Robert,

          1) Get the hell out, you’re being played for a sucker. See a divorce lawyer today, and take immediate action.
          2) It sucks, Lord knows, but it will get better quickly.
          3) I bet your sons’ conditions improve with papa’s undistracted love.
          4) Your relationship is toast. Every minute that you pretend it isn’t must be paid in terms of your self-respect, and that road leads to dark places.
          5) Work on making yourself the best man you can be.
          6) It’s no longer about her. You’re free.

          • As I read through this, she was trying to end things but you kept holding on. She tried to walk away instead of continuing to cheat but you begged her to try marriage counseling. Why blame her… She tried to cut ties and do the right thing but you wouldn’t let her go.

            • You sound like my wife’s affair partner. She initially denied cheating. She wanted a 30 day separation because she said she needed a break. There wasn’t any mention of anyone else.
              After 30 days, she said she thought she wanted a divorce. We talked about it and I admit I pleaded with her to think about it. She said she would. I learned about her affair a couple weeks later, from her brother.

              • Besides which, if she seriously wanted to divorce then, nothing could have stopped her. I live in a no fault state.
                She waffled back and forth, playing with my emotions while she carried on with her affair. I was trying to save my marriage and family.

              • Bob,
                Everything you’ve written is totally believable and genuine.
                Meanwhile, could Tracey please fire up the Universal Bullshit Translator for John’s comments including this gem:
                ‘She tried to cut ties and do the right thing but you wouldn’t let her go’

              • Tracy!
                I just had to apologise for the misspelling of CL’s name.
                It’s one of the things that drove me crazy about Xhole – would always get people’s names wrong and didn’t care, especially if they were my relatives or friends!

            • I loved and still love my wife. I hate that our marriage has come to this. I tried everything I could think of to try to save it, because despite what happened, if it would work it was worth it to me.

        • *jaw drops*

          Would keeping a hardbound contemporaneous journal with time spent with you (and how – homework, P/T conferences, physicians, etc.) vs. time spent with her (or NOT) help in any way? I know that as a male Chump you are still more likely to get screwed financially than not but is there any way to minimize it?

          At 12, I hope that a judge will ask the boys for their input regarding who they want as their primary parent.

          I am so sorry. At least her family has taken a principled stand. For now if not for always.

    • Robert Louis Chumpinson,

      Right. We must be wusses and made pariahs. Because we’re so progressive as a modern society. I got told shortly after D-day by coworkers (male and female) that they assumed I was pussy-whipped because I would always ask for the days off the XW said she needed to do something (for her job, for her local political career, for her roller derby hobby, etc.).

      I always viewed our marriage as a partnership, so she could ask things of me and vice versa. What I wasn’t paying attention to in the last few years (at least not consciously) was that I was starting to do a lot more things out of love for her, but that was not being reciprocated. I realized this in the year after she left me and tore the family apart.

      On the plus side (believe it or not, the one positive out of all this is I am trying much more than I used to to always look for the positive in things), my oldest daughter just stopped by at my work space to say hello to her dad after she got out of work. She and her younger sister have realized that, in their words, “Mom has changed.” I don’t think it’s the time for me to talk w/them about the very possible personality disorder their mother has. I probably won’t talk w/them about that unless they ask me for more particulars about the divorce. But they both said they can’t stand the XW’s AP that she’s shacked up w/. They now live an eighth of a mile behind me (me still in our former house, now solely mine). The plus side to this situation? Well, at least our youngest (almost 14 yr old son) doesn’t have far to travel between us for the 50/50 custody.

      We’re all going to come out of these horrible experiences stronger than ever. Power to all us chumps! Keep on being mighty.

  • I’m a chump!

    Thank you for writing this column, Tracy! It means so much to me (as a typical lurker) to know that someone understands! This isn’t a great community and I’m so grateful for the support you’ve provided to me!

  • Thank you for posting that, definitely needed that reminder today as I’m in the trenches and have hit a low point.

    • Sydneychump,
      I am so sorry to read you are “in the trenches and have hit a low point.”
      I want to be there beside you and lighten your load.
      In your heart please feel the love and support of CN!
      ❤️

  • Wonder how many men are sharing this to send fb world the message it wasn’t their fault – even though it was – and how much their life sucks now *because of their former wife. I certainly could see mine doing that.

    • SorryItsnotfiftyfifty,

      I’d be real surprised if asshole male cheaters go looking for stuff like this. I think for cheaters in general, that’s too much work for their lazy asses. If any do, I’d guess they’re in a very small minority. Let’s try to be supportive, ok? I know it’s easy to view everything from our personal world of pain. I think that Yesshesucks was pointing in that direction.

      And Yesshesucks? I hear you!

      • Actually I was thinking one of the particular to men suckitudes was the number of make narcs that like to lie to women about “how they have been cheated on and would never ever do it because they know how devastating it is”. My ex loves to play that wounded but brave schtick. What is the most evil about it is how suspicious it makes nice women towards truly chumped guys. Y’all have my deepest sympathies guy. No good person deserves the meat grinder of being chumped.

  • A friend of mine is trying the swipe dating app. She sometimes shares the guy-profiles which makes me feel great; I’ve got no face tattoos, no motorcycle, I’m not usually holding a walleye.
    Or any combination of the three.

    Nothing wrong with any of that; I’m just a catch in my own way.

    For 20+ yrs I was never reminded of that. I clung to a sad relationship b/c those are my values. Now, here I am figuring it out.

    Not seeing my kids 1/2 the time is the worst. But I have a stronger relationship with them.

    The economics are stressful and scarier. But I can grow up and determine my own pathway.

    I’m meeting new people, leaving (sadly) long-term relationships behind. I’ve developed boundaries, but keep my heart vulnerability.

    Being a guy does come with potential potholes.

    I used to think divorce was the scariest thing to go through. Best thing (not easiest!) to happen to me.

    • Just came to say, your comment on face tattoos and holding a wall-eye made me spit out my coffee! Its so true…I dont know where you are, but those motorcycle photos and look-at-me-hold-a-fish photos must be universal. And that is incredibly sad 😂

      • I had a “compare notes” thing going with fellow Chump a few years ago and here’s what I saw from the female profile side:

        — I’m convinced that some singles consultant is making a fortune advising women to include a pic of them steering a boat. Far to many to count.

        — Profile statements hoping to find a “partner in crime.” It’s as if every woman in America has held a secret desire to commit misdemeanors, of only they had suitable male companionship.

        — Duck lip selfies from the drivers seat of their car. At age 40+. Like they’re auditioning for Jersey Shore.

    • There are many of us who look for “genuine” in online profiles. Don’t give up; use your dark sense of humor to get through all the cringey profiles (and dates).

  • My husband is a chump. His ex had numerous affairs throughout their whole marriage. Him and his ex owned a business together, which she didn’t contribute to at all, then broke in and stole money from it. He gets the glorious job of paying her for a business she had no part of, contributing to her partying lifestyle.

    Luckily their daughter is adopted, so paternity is not an issue. Custody is 50/50 but daughter has pretty much moved in with us because she has HCBM figured out. I wish my kids would figure things out like she did.

  • Thank you, Tracey and to all that have supported me with responses in forums for however long this hell has been going on now. I thought this column hit a lot of things on the head. I want to make my response short. Unlikely, but here it goes:

    First, the 2nd point could really be expanded. Anecdotally, it seems to me each time a CL post is more male centered (e.g., responding to a male chump letter) there’s fewer reactions and comments from CN. Maybe the site’s analytics could prove me wrong. I’d be happy to be.

    Second, the 3rd point could have also been expanded. There is a lot in the literature about women with BPD – or characteristics of it – and the chaos they create (including cheating). Women are quick to find support from the narcissistic abuse they’ve suffered from a male partner (here and other places). It is difficult to find resources as a male when you’ve been abused by a woman with BPD.

    Why do men not reach out more? Because we’re not believed. I was blocked on FB by someone from CN who is/was friends with my ex when I saw her here and tried to explain what happened. The way that people with BPD can create stories to make themselves the victim is a frustrating challenge.

    Anyway, I just thought these two points were especially prudent and they were two of the three shortest ones in the article. In the spirit of trying to be brief, however, I’ll end here though. Thanks for letting me vent CN (again).

    • Hi Yes, thanks for this and hope yr ok today! I think the thing about point 2, that people assume men suck, is that it’s dependent on point 3, that men don’t speak out. Hopefully sites like CN will encourage male chumps to speak out and challenge the stereotype of ‘men are cheaters’, just as the stereotype of ‘she must be frigid/ a nagger’ is being challenged. Long way to go for all of us but you’re carving steps!

    • My XW is a covert narcissist/BPD. Most people didn’t see the abuse because I didn’t broadcast it to everyone. She knows how to manipulate people so well. Lost some best friends over it… But picked up my life and have moved on.

      • Son just broke up with a bipolar/borderline girlfriend after 5 years. Very rough on him, and he is not no contact, so the drama and harm continue. Definitely very few safe and welcoming places in which a man can discuss being the target of emotional abuse. Add to that the overall cultural pressure for males never to display weakness, and you end up with way too many men suffering in silence and trying to do the right thing in an impossible situation.

        • It’s difficult to find support, not impossible (and my mom has provided a lot of it). I truly believe there is no pain Olympics, and I don’t want to sound like I’m minimizing, but it’s time for your son to cut his loses and find a good therapist (if he hasn’t). 5 years of dating is a better place to do so than after 14 years of marriage. I was starting to realize something was off when my ex got pregnant (married about a year, together for five). Stayed for the kids (now 4), left for the kids in the end. Again, not the pain Olympics, but hopefully no kids are involved. That’s a bigger shit sandwhich.

      • Agreed. My best support came from a couple/few people who realized I was being abused way before I did.

    • Yesshesucks,

      You’re absolutely right–it didn’t take long to get through the comments today. I’d never made the correlation that there are far fewer comments when chump men are the day’s focus. I’m so sorry if that makes you feel ‘less than.’

      The OW in my situation walked away from a wonderful man who was an amazing father, unparalleled in being kind and generous, and a way-above-average breadwinner. He is remarried and I’ve heard his new wife is wonderful and I do hope so because he absolutely deserves the best.

      Lies and unkind generalities are spread about chumps of both genders. I am glad you are here and I hope you know that we know good men do exist no matter how much nay-saying is said about our unfaithful exes.

        • @LAJ that was my assumption- let the ‘minority’ speak without white womens voice has been drummed into me over the last couple years.

          • Yes, this is me. I mostly lurk these days anyway, but I am less likely to comment on columns which speak to the guy chump’s experience – not because I don’t hurt for what they deal with, and not because they don’t have my support (you guys absolutely do, Guy Chumps!), but because I want to step aside and let them speak for themselves. For the record, for my Guy Chumps out there – you didn’t cause it, you didn’t deserve it, and your wives/lovers/husbands are idiots like the lot of them.

    • “It is difficult to find resources as a male when you’ve been abused by a woman with BPD.”

      Try BPD411. I remember when Ozzie Tinman was writing his book about his experiences and we were reading bits and pieces of it. That was years ago but you still might find it helpful. At least you know you are NOT alone. There were a lot of us, both genders, dealing with the wreckage.

      https://www.amazon.com/One-Way-Ticket-Kansas-Personality/dp/097678730X

    • I have a daughter with BPD and can sympathize. Every boy she dated in high school and every man she dated as an adult have been devastated by her. Every time she starts dating someone new I have the urge to warn him. But I know that wouldn’t help. I just have to watch from the sidelines as she screws up another guy.

      • AnneG,

        Love to you. I can only imagine the challenges you face as the mother of your daughter (who does deserve love and support and friendship, etc.). I hope your boundaries are appropriate (for both your sake’s) and that she gets the Tx she needs.

    • Yesshesucks,

      I never realized that there was less comments from CN when the letter of the day came from a male chump. I’m sorry if you and all the other male chumps that read here have not felt heard or supported. 🙁

      Besides CL and CN. Youtube videos about narc abuse have been so helpful to me. I even watch one that is done by a divorced dad. No infidelity, but sometimes he talks about eating the shit sandwich of having to pay alimony to his lazy ass XW who doesn’t work. He was financially devastated, but is slowly getting back on his feet. Maybe his Youtube channel will be helpful to other male chumps? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUXEHz3OECVwLz1X-SNM4lw

      (((HUGS))) to all the male chumps out there!

    • Have to second with a reminder of how true it is that people with borderline personality disorders and narcissistic tendencies are geniuses at rewriting the story convincingly for people on the periphery. Male or female, if you didn’t cheat you can be every other kind of suck but you didn’t cheat. But if you’re a chump, you probably are a good person, taught it’s better to be quiet than to badmouth others, even your cheating spouse, especially if children are involved. When I found my husband’s online profiles on dating sites Etc. They spun a tale of his adulterous ex-wife, except for in ones where I was dead. After he moved out, he was only too happy to let anyone believe I was the bad guy, he the innocent. Only from our very closest friend, and from a sister-in-law, did I learn he was telling everyone I had ended our marriage unfairly and for my own selfish needs. And I know women who are exactly the same, only for them it’s even easier because there is an assumption with cheating that men are somehow more likely to be the bad guys. We all know that cheating goes beyond gender, orientation, affiliation, religion, and everything else except personality and basic human character. As Tracy has pointed out in her book, wanting out of a marriage is one thing. But you can’t turn around and say the marriage was over if you were cheating and working so hard to hide that fact to protect your marriage and keep your spouse from leaving you. It’s a fundamental character flaw unique to cheaters, not males or females.

    • Yesshesucks – ‘Anecdotally, it seems to me each time a CL post is more male centered (e.g., responding to a male chump letter) there’s fewer reactions and comments from CN.’

      I found C/L almost 6 yrs ago so I’ve read a lot of stories.

      What I have found, and continue to find is that the male-writers submitting in their stories are so rare that I’m drawn to each and every one. What woman wouldn’t want to know what the man chump must be going through – a male that actually writes down his story? Exposes himself) – I will tell you it is very rare. I’m transfixed because I know very few men will be brave emotionally step up and tell about their pain and experience. (as you’ve noticed, women are geared to let it all out)

      And, I’ve probably never acknowledged one of the men’s comments! (we can’t Like comments here) because I feel I’m out of my league. I feel honored to have these men share and I don’t want to interfere.
      Here we finally have a small group of men willing to share their emotions and fears and worries like we’ve never heard before. And, I sure do not want to break up this very fragile group of guys sharing their thoughts and feelings. I feel like it’s better the men talk amongst themselves, to enlighten us women, so we don’t burst into a conversation and destroy that connection.
      If that makes sense?

      Of course, that may be why so many men don’t respond to female posts (we gals can get a lot of chatting done) because, we are both different, of course.

      The more we learn of each other’s gender, the better off we’ll be.
      I’m sorry to admit that after my DDay, I didn’t think a man actually had emotions and thought as deeply and awfully as us women. I should be old enough to know better but it is reassuring to see it in print, although WE may not know what advice to offer in some male circumstances.

      I’m sorry you feel men’s voices aren’t heard or acknowledged enough.
      Please believe me that they are, indeed! Please keep sharing.

      • Heather (and others),

        I don’t fault any individual for not commenting/reacting to a male centered CL post. We all have our reasons for doing so on different topics. By far, my most support has been here and I have no hard feelings with CN (sans the one person I actually know IRL, sigh …).

        But, in this conversation, it does say something that yesterday’s post was basically passed by today’s post in an hour with comments/reactions. I’m not feeling unheard, but I do think this shows men have less of an audience interested in listening. Which, I think, is congruent with CL’s OP.

    • If you go to shrink4men.com, you will find resources about dealing with a partner who has BPD. (In the end, why they abuse doesn’t matter. Abuse is abuse. That said, dealing with someone who is on the malignant end of the BPD spectrum can be savagely difficult and wounding.)

  • Thank you CL
    The macho message is that tough guys don’t let themselves get abused. Admitting that you’ve been abused has a lot of negative connotations about who you are and your perceived weakness in the realm of male-dominated culture. It can be disheartening admitting to yourself that you’ve been abused, let alone telling others. This macho-aggressive indoctrination starts when we are little boys, too young to know better. So there’s a lot of BS brainwashing we need to overcome before we can open up.
    ‘Trusting that they suck’ and recognizing that worthy men get abused too, are some of CL’s messages that helped me lose the negative self-talk.

    • May I suggest that blaming “macho culture” is just another way of blame-shifting back to male victim?

      Okay, so the guy held out longer in the face of infidelity, lies and gaslighting than he should have because of the idea ingrained in him by his mother and father and his culture of what it means to be a good husband and father. Is that “macho culture?”

      For whatever reason, those Switzerland friends refuse to accept she did shitty things she did. So it must be his fault, right? But she did. It’s almost like there’s a refusal to grant bad women any agency for their actions…

    • Macho culture isn’t really what you are looking for, it’s all a part of the Patriarchy we all live in. And it is not a way to blame men to say it affects them, of course it does. Women are weak, men are strong. We are all individuals with our own personalities, falling in all the spectrums. It’s our culture that pushes men into compartments just as it does women. We have to change that culture to free men from the constraints of the Patriarchy. Feminists have been fighting a long time to change this dynamic wherein men and women operate under different rules. Men are taught to be tough, not show emotion, and such from childhood. It’s incredibly sad and it causes many men to be afraid to open up, to be vulnerable. Here we have a safe place where showing emotion is OK. You can open up here.

  • I am a chump. Two years out from divorce. Your book and blog has been something that has helped me so much that I have shared them with others. I can’t thank you enough! You have helped me gain the insight and strength to be mighty!

    • Glad you are on the mightiness path! Don’t be afraid to chime in if you see a chump who needs your insight.

  • Waves from the sunshine. I did live in the shadows for a long time though.

    The shame – yeah it was there. People would literally cross the street to avoid me after Mme finally left but before the reasons why came out 6 months later when pictures of her and her guy were on a trip away paid for with the money from the joint savings account.

    I do talk about it. “My ex-wife left me for discount priced yogurt” is a favourite joke. And yes – she did run off with the milk-man – dairy delivery guy.

    The paternity test thing bothers me from time to time. I know that it bothers at least one of my kids although anyone will tell you that they are a lot like me.

    I think one of the low points was the STD testing. I remember telling my then wife coldly that I was just imagining the lab tech wondering what sort of crack whore that this otherwise normal looking middle-aged guy had hooked up with.

    Another thing that bothers me – and I encountered this in the RIC world. There are people who go on about Alpha and Beta men and how any man who has his partner stolen away from him is obviously weak and deserves it. There is a whole sub-culture out there about it. This also includes how screwing married women is so much safer because they won’t get clingy because they have too much to lose.

    At roughly 3 1/2 years out, I’m doing OK. Still have the occasional bad day. Still try to untangle the skein from time to time. But at least I can hold my head up high.

    BT

    • Oh BowTie… keep your head up. I can relate … my STBX went on trips I had always wanted to go on worth the other woman, took the kids too. Broke my heart. I was ashamed for a while too… until I realized I had done nothing wrong. You are not weak… she is. She didn’t have the courage to give you the courtesy of asking for a divorce before screwing around. I had to go through the testing as well, and I was mortified… but I told the nurse that it was because the jackass couldn’t keep it in his pants … she died laughing. Don’t be afraid to set the record straight if the situation calls for it. You can do it with grace… or try to at least . I’m sorry that you have to struggle with the paternity issue… but you seem the type that would love your children regardless.

      If you haven’t done so … I’d recommend seeing a therapist … I see one and she helps me navigate the minefield that is my life and she’s been helping me untangle myself from him.

      I find that in your post you have a lot of strength ..keep your head up.

      • The pain and humiliation of STD testing is part of the “romantic affair” story that never gets acknowledged or talked about. I’m sorry that you went through that; you are certainly not alone. I burst into tears in front of my long-time doctor when she asked what on earth I needed testing for. 🙁

    • That Alpha and Beta crap is a holdover from understandings about wolf packs. It really is crap. First, humans aren’t pack animals. We’re social, but not pack. Second, wolf packs aren’t organized around alpha and beta wolves. Wolf packs in the wild are family units. The alpha is the daddy dog while the rest are the younger wolves who’ll eventually seek their own mates and start their own family packs.

      Given the above, we can see that the RIC uses the terms to abuse the poor male Chump. It’s not that his wife has cheated on him; it’s that he forced her to cheat.

      I call BS.

      BowTie–Your stock trades high. Caring men who want to do the right thing are wonderful. You’re a fine example to your children!

      • Agreed. Also, “alpha” connotes to me someone who is bossy, controlling, self-centered, and narcissistic. He expects others to bend to his will, and while that might be portrayed as sexy in romance novels, it’s off-putting and abusive in real life.

    • I worked with a guy who only slept with married women because “they are easier to bed then single women”. He was just looking for sex and not commitment. And the STD testing is humiliating because I was married 24 years…

      • I hear ya. It was 27 years for me. It is humiliating, but wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. My GYN asked why I needed the tests and he didn’t even bat an eye at the answer, which I was grateful for. I guess he hears that a lot, which is sad.

        The cheater’s doctor, OTOH, had an expression of disgust on her face when he had to explain needing the tests. It cheers me up just knowing that.

        • Yeah, my Ex and I had the same GP. I told this young doc I needed testing, and why, and that my STBX would probably also be in for testing. He held up his hand and said ‘don’t tell me his name, I want to be able to be neutral and I won’t be able to if I know who he is, because that would mean I’d know what’s done’. (We weren’t married, although living-as-married for 14 ys, so not the same last name.)

          The look of disgust on that MD’s face when he said this, clearly aimed at my Ex, did me a lot of good. They may have to deal w/this all the time, but they often also still have strong opinions about right and wrong! Exposing your unsuspecting spouse to STDs definitely falls on the ‘wrong’ side.

    • Yeah, I hear you about the STD testing. It sure was fun (heavy sarcasm) going to get blood drawn to get tested for everything, including HIV. I can only imagine what the phlebotomist thought of me when she punched all the different codes into the computer.

      My male chump friend was in shock when I told him I got tested for STD’s. He said, “You were in a 20 year marriage!” Yes, I was, but I have no doubt anymore that he cheated when I was pregnant and that was 15 years before I finally caught him out on a date with a newly divorced whore. Plus all the 100% naked Canadian strippers he messed around with during that time. Lord only knows what he did behind my back from 1992 to 2014.

      • STD testing here as well – the OWhore had herpes and I have an auto immune disease. (I did not contract it, and my doctor cried when I told him what I was going through).
        I was LIVID that not only did the Exhole cheat, he exposed my compromised immune system to herpes. When I angrily texted him about herpes, he stated that I only wanted him to say something mean to her so that I could get him to hurt her. I still think about that . . . he contracted herpes from her (he’s told my kids that, which was fun to explain to them what herpes is!) But his “bff” never told him she had it, and then gave it to him.
        I know there are chumps that have contracted STD’s from their cheaters, and I’m so sorry for anyone that is dealing with that. I cannot even imagine having to add that to the shit sandwich we are already forced to eat. But him having to live with the fact that his “bff” never disclosed her STD and then gave it to him FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE gives me a chuckle every time.

    • It’s a same that men are socially penalized for having some emotional depth and sensitivity.

    • I’m sick of the “alpha” and “beta” stereotypes. What is an alpha male, someone who repos his wandering wife and drags her off by the hair because he won’t let someone else “steal” her? This is just another way of saying the male should dominate a woman. If the RIC pushes that, they are wandering into some very shitty victim blaming.

      Spouses of either gender aren’t “stolen.” And you can’t force a disordered person to straighten up and fly right. That’s just nuts.

  • KFirst let me say this: the stories you tell here break my heart. I don’t know how you all stay so strong in the face of the terrible shit that’s been dumped on you. I wish you the strength and courage to continue what you’re doing.

    I got here by accident after reading a story about infidelity and found a link to Chump Lady.

    My marriage is strong. I love my wife more than ever before, and I find her so deeply desirable that I sometimes daydream about her the way I did when we dated. She is the love of my life. Through the many years, I’ve been completely faithful, both in the flesh and the spirit.

    So why am I wandering around in Chump Nation? Because this stuff absolutely scares the hell out of me. If it could happen to good people who thought their marriages were solid, it could happen to anybody. I think I’ve been extremely naive about affairs, and had no idea that it was such a widespread problem in marriages.

    I’ve been trying to figure out what I would do if it happened to me. Could I handle all of this? Honestly, I think it would kill me.

    I trust my wife and I know that she loves me. And this trust is vital. If she were not a good person, her work and routines would present endless opportunities to stray.

    But somtimes after reading all this, I’m just like, “Who the fuck knows?” It’s really shaken my belief system.

    Again, I feel deeply for all of you and appreciate how you share so openly.

    • Ben, yah, infidelity is horrible stuff. I don’t blame you for being scared. Here are some things you can do: 1) Think what you need to reassure you. 2) Tell your wife that you’ve been on this site and it scares you, ask her to help you with what you need (see #1). 3) Make yourself available to help other couples maintain a strong marriage, perhaps casually, as friends, counseling those who have trouble. 4) Maybe get off this site.

    • I can see why it would scare you. It’s the same reason why some of my friends went to great lengths to minimize my ex’s cheating…because it forced them to cast doubt on their marriage strength. Like, if my ex, who was known to be Mr. Reliable Good Guy Super Awesome Husband could do this…what about their guy?!?

      All I can say is you can’t live your life being paranoid. Your wife’s given you nothing to be worried about. I don’t think it’s a terrible idea to do a marriage check on occasion–ask your partner what, if anything, they may be missing or wanting more or less of in the marriage. Also a good idea to address red flags head on.

      But, at the time my ex cheated I could have never imagined he would so such a thing. The day I found out he cheated I had literally just finished telling his mother how wonderful he’s been. BUT…I was in red-flag denial. I thought he was wonderful because my scale for wonderfulness had been so far reduced that anything above blatantly ignoring me became wonderful. Even still, I never thought he would have cheated the way he did.

  • First let me say this: the stories you tell here break my heart. I don’t know how you all stay so strong in the face of the terrible shit that’s been dumped on you. I wish you the strength and courage to continue what you’re doing.

    I got here by accident after reading a story about infidelity and found a link to Chump Lady.

    My marriage is strong. I love my wife more than ever before, and I find her so deeply desirable that I sometimes daydream about her the way I did when we dated. She is the love of my life. Through the many years, I’ve been completely faithful, both in the flesh and the spirit.

    So why am I wandering around in Chump Nation? Because this stuff absolutely scares the hell out of me. If it could happen to good people who thought their marriages were solid, it could happen to anybody. I think I’ve been extremely naive about affairs, and had no idea that it was such a widespread problem in marriages.

    I’ve been trying to figure out what I would do if it happened to me. Could I handle all of this? Honestly, I think it would kill me.

    I trust my wife and I know that she loves me. And this trust is vital. If she were not a good person, her work and routines would present endless opportunities to stray.

    But somtimes after reading all this, I’m just like, “Who the fuck knows?” It’s really shaken my belief system.

    Again, I feel deeply for all of you and appreciate how you share so openly.

    • Ben….I honestly believed with my whole heart that my husband would NEVER cheat on me. I actually also believed that he loved me more than I loved him because he was SO devoted to me. No one and I mean No One believed me when I told him I caught him having an affair. People actually thought I was joking as they sat waiting for the ‘punch line.’ I’ve never been so cold cocked or sucker punched in my life!! Five months prior to the affair he insisted on us renewing our wedding vows. I’ve since been single for many, many years because I do not see how it is possible to ever believe a man again.

      • Chumptopia – ‘Five months prior to the affair he insisted on us renewing our wedding vows.’

        Chumpt, wow. As I was going through all the love notes and Valentines day cards, etc, ripping them to shreds, I found a note in a card that said on the side, ‘Let’s renew our wedding vows’

        I totally do not remember that card but it would have made sense I would have chuckled a bit and thought, why would we have to do something sort of silly, in my mind. Our marriage was just fine. And, the note was forgotten.

        I think he was cheating when he wrote it!! What’s with that?

        • When Mal and I had been estranged for some time (but still sharing a bed), I knew subconsciously something was up. I had started having dreams about her having sex with the mailman, but this was still years before Dday.

          And my mind had started to slip … to slip into fantasies of how she and I might again share the marriage that I wanted. And somewhere in there, I had a fantasy of renewing our vows. And then this became a more durable fantasy/wish/want in my mind, a component of a larger fantasy … our many friends and family witnessing and endorsing our marriage, our intact family, our amazing children. She and I had been married at the courthouse, with our 6 mo baby as the only witness, after eating some food-truck falafel on the courthouse steps, and gone to the beach for the afternoon. So I never felt that endorsement … like my marriage was a fake or something, or not respected by my wife, my in-laws, our friends. Our coupling was never celebrated, and it didn’t seem like anyone thought worthy of celebrating.

          Except me. And I wasn’t wrong.

  • I’ve spent a good amount of time here (and in the forums) over the past three years trying to get male chumps to come out from the shadows and find their voice. Sometimes with tales of the ongoing trials and tribulations of Kunty Kibbler and the Chlorine Special, sometimes with song parodies meant to expose cheater/narcs because (borrowing from the great Mel Brooks): Get on a soapbox against a cheater, it’s even money you’re gonna lose. But if you can make fun of them, if you can have people laugh at them, they lose a great deal of their power, and you win.

    It’s been my great honor (thanks to this site) to have connected with several guy chumps in person and offered whatever support and assistance I can, and I’m convinced that a big reason why many guy chumps struggle so badly is because we’re living painful examples of two”exceptions that prove the rule.”

    The first is what Tracy notes above: the societal bias that men generally suck and are naturally predisposed to act on a wandering eye (or dick). We take enormous pride in being honest, decent, attentive and supportive husbands and fathers. We are the exceptions to the rule, and we feel like we’re being punished for it.

    The second is the inverse of the first: the societal bias that women are by nature and in practice the more honest, attentive and supportive gender, both in martial and parental relations. When a woman cheats, the thought goes, they are the exceptions to the rule. And we feel like we’re being punished for it.

    I hope this column encourages more of us to recognize that being this kind of exception is not a weakness nor a paralyzing unfairness, but rather an affirmation of (a) the character we possess and (b) the type of man we want our sons to be and our daughters (or sons) to partner with.

    • UX – thanks for your thoughts, and my heart goes out to you and all guy chumps.

      I have seen evidence of your second (inverse) point, since I’m a woman married to a female Cheater. My individual therapist is fascinated by our situation, because even though he’s worked with many couples, he says he’s *never* seen a wife cheat (in his professional experience, though of course he knows it happens). Women can suck too, indeed.

      • Then he probably hasn’t done a lot of couple’s therapy, with straight or gay couples. I counsel couples, and while it is more common for a man to have cheated, and I’m guessing some men who are cheated on don’t drag their partner into counselling the way betrayed women often will, I’ve seen plenty of cases where it was the woman who cheated.

        Maybe your therapist also needs the news that there can also be domestic violence in lesbian couples???

        Sometimes therapists don’t hear about things, because they never ask ….

        • Oh, and I also do more therapy with individuals than w/couples, and have had plenty of female cheaters come to therapy, often because they ‘can’t decide what to do’ about their cake-eating situation, or their partner has found out and it’s a crisis and they’ve promised to go to therapy. But I still often have to ASK, directly, before people admit to actually cheating.

          • Interesting – thanks, KE. My individual therapist is a nice guy and very helpful in certain ways, but certainly very middle-America-suburban in his experience and outlook. I could well imagine he has never worked with a lesbian before.

    • It all comes down to character. A person with a strong set of lived values won’t lie, cheat, steal, or murder. Their word means something to them. They have standards for themselves. And if they have strong values and are kind and empathetic, cheating wouldn’t even be a thought.

  • I am a chump. Married to a serial cheater for 30 years. First D-day in 2001. Second 2007. Third 2010. Each time she would make promises and do and say all the right things to convince me she was serious about being faithful and loving only me. Her family knew. Our kids knew. Our son did not speak to his mother for a year. I thought she would see the damage she was doing and change. She couldn’t change. She refused to wear her wedding ring.

    In April 2016, I got “that feeling” again. She was cold and distant. I work sporting events and she would go with me to watch the event. While there, she met a guy. He was also married but that doesn’t matter to a cheater.

    I got the “I Love You But I’m Not In Love With You” speech. Verbatim actually. She packed up her stuff and moved out. I was stunned and unable to function for quite a while. I spoke to the wife of the OM. She apparently ended up in a mental health facility when her husband left. He never visited.

    I held on for 2.5 years thinking she would come to her senses fueled by RIC bullshit. She didn’t. I finally agreed to the divorce in January 2019. It was final March 2019.

    We have 2 adult children who do not see or speak to their mother. It’s been that way for 3 years now. My ex-wife insists she’s happy now. Without your children in your life?

    It’s slowly getting better. Time and no contact. I will never let myself be treated like that again.

    • That’s horrendous and I’m sorry she did that to you. It’s amazing how forgiving you were. Mine had one long term affair and that was enough for me. No second chances to screw me over. All these stories of multiple DDs tell me I made the right decision.

    • I’m glad your children have the strength and good sense to stay away from her. It doesn’t sound like she cares so keeping her toxicity out of their lives will be a blessing.

    • She may be “happy” by her warped definition. But she’s missing out on all the good stuff life has to offer. But, you’re not. What’s the point of having kids if you don’t get to enjoy them as adults?!? lol

      • Our son graduated from college last year. His mother showed up and tried to greet him as he walked out after the ceremony. He turned and went the other way. Texted me “I don’t want her here”. I finally found him in the crowd and we took pictures together. Never saw his mother.

        It’s sad. It bothers me that my kids do not have a relationship with their mother but I’ve decided I didn’t break it and I can’t fix it.

        • Yes, that’s it. The most you can do is support them and help them deal with their feelings and mental health around their mother’s issues. I’m in a similar but lesser boat. My ex has major personality and mental problems. I can’t shield my kid from them–he has 50% custody–so I spend my efforts trying to fortify her self esteem, confidence, sense of self worth, etc., so that she will not be as susceptible to internalizing his problems as I was. But, it just sucks.

          It also sucks for use–we get to miss that wonderful feeling of standing with our children’s other parent at their big moments and sharing the pride and joy of having raised them together. This is a major personal loss. One more shit sandwich to eat.

        • My two kids are grown too, my ex wife cheated and left after 24 years..they know I’m the sane parent and choose to spend the holidays with me. I’m blessed with a grandson now who’s almost 2. I learned my ex wife and her AP rented a 2 bedroom condo at the ocean we vacationed at every damn year (he’s just stepped into my past life) and the kids told me she had been bombarding their phones wanting them to go on the trip over the July 4th holiday. They both refused. She kept at them via text so after a few too many vodka sodas I emailed her (after several years NC) and told her choices have consequences and to back the F off the kids. The next day I regretted breaking NC and realized the kids aren’t kids anymore so I should just let them handle it. I sent her a follow up email half heartedly apologizing for my previous email blah blah, that was just met with her lashing out telling me to leave her alone which is fine by me. My point is, I have the kids, the grandson, them all together on every holiday. She has her new dick. So all in all I think I won.

  • I have no problem talking about what she has done to our family. It will be interesting to see how things play out. We were together 24 years and married 18. My STBXW and her boyfriend are both serial cheaters. We have 4 kids and he has 5 kids with 3 women. He has talked all the women out of going for child support. The guy is a master manipulator. Myself on the other hand am pursuing Child Support & Maintenance. She made 3 times more than I did. After I filed she immediately quit her job and went to a casual 24 hour a week job. She thinks in doing so she can avoid having to pay.
    One of the hardest parts of everything has been dealing with the possibility of our 20 year old son not being mine. She was going to tell him there was a chance that I wasn’t his dad but she has decided not to tell him. Another part of it is her and her boyfriend are trying to alienate my kids from me. My 17 year old has not spoken to me since Memorial Day and has sent me texts saying I’m the one that ruined the family and I am making the kids suffer. They are trying to do the same to my 10 year old and 7 year old as well by buying them things. Both those assholes know my younger two want to live with me and that’s why they are trying so hard.
    I know it sucks and not many men speak up when they are cheated on. But I’ve found that it helps to get it out there and not to keep it in. Finding this site has totally helped me over the past year. So I thank you, Tracy and CN for everything!

    • My advice … play the long game. Your children will
      Come around and realize how crappy their mom is. Remain stable and loving and
      Supporting ….. maybe you already do this . Hang in there .. glad you are not ashamed to speak about it. Stay strong.

      • This. Long game. Speak and live your truth. Be the safe, sane, and stable parent. Also, get ahead of traumatic news…you be the one the talk with your 20 year old about paternity. Get tested together if that’s what you both decide to do.

        • And tell your kids their mom cheated … multiple times. They deserve not to be gaslighted by BOTH their parents.

  • Ex wife left after 25 years of marriage for a woman. Said if I had been more of a dick she would have come out and left sooner. I made it too comfortable ( ie good provider, husband and father). She gets all the kibbles for being brave and her true self. Could go on and on. Hardest part was lost time with the kids even with 50/50 custody. After 5 years did get to ‘meh’. We are here, we just don’t write as much as the women.

    • Are you British (English)? I’m asking because it appears to be peculiarly British to dump one’s boyfriend for a woman and making every effort to inform him how his sexual inadequacy drove her to become gay. I’ve got two male British friends who told me almost the same story. One said he had been dumped by then girlfriend who had left him for a woman but she had really made an effort to tell him that she had had sex with him hoping to persuade her she hadn’t been gay. But the sex with him was so awful and horrible that she had preferred to be gay and never have sex with another guy.

      Such stories are just an attempt to humiliate men (a variation of ‘he made me/ drove me to do it’ blameshift) by attacking their masculinity. Don’t you think that such crap isn’t transparent. In your case, your ex doesn’t make sense. On the contrary, if you managed to keep her from being gay (her true natural orientation) for almost 3 decades, your dick must be practically magic.

      • Not British…She didn’t blame me for any inadequacy she blamed me for making it too easy for her to stay in denial. The narrative in these situations is unbelievably consistent. Blameshifting is prevalent gay or straight… l

        • Give Straight Spouse Network a try. They at least understand that this is not just yanking the rug out from under your feet, but kicking you into the closet while they get the “Aren’t you BRAVE?” parade.

          “Blameshifting is prevalent gay or straight…”

          Too fucking right it is!

        • Ah yes, the ole “you were too soft a pillow for my weary head to land on” defense. Shame on you for being such a loving and nice guy, lol

          • Indeed.

            Been to SSN – very helpful.

            Remarried now to a beautiful straight.. co parenting with the ex still a big pain in the ass tho.

  • Tracy,

    Thanks for taking the time to write this column. And thanks to all the ladies here who were chumped, but can still find empathy in their hearts for us men who were chumped.

    I was fortunate in that I was able to find help through my church community. Due to the public nature of my XW’s affair, I had no choice but to reach out. Thankfully, I was not castigated or looked down upon. I was able to find a good lawyer, and things have worked out in a way that I can live with, despite the fact that my life and future took a dramatic change in the course of an hour. My XW totally blindsided me with her exit affair, all while leading me to believe we were a happy family and totally in love.

  • I’m glad Tracy did this post. We have to support all chumps. Remember for all the men that cheated with a married woman her husband is a chump too. Thank goodness for the sane parent- male or female!

    • Agreed. I made sure to tell the chump husband of my jerk’s OW about their affair and her serial cheating. Too many people assume if a woman cheats it’s because the husband is inadequate in some way. Total bullshit.

  • I wish there were some database for chumped men to serve as a dating pool for me. But it would have to be verified, because I’m wary enough at this point not to trust “our marriage ended because she was cheating” on face value.

    • Nicole, I’m with you on this too. I’m also a little leery about a guy telling me his wife cheated on him. I was actually duped by the principal of the school I used to work at. In the staff lounge and in front of only one teacher. He told me that his XW cheated on him and he came across as the poor sad sausage/victim. The teacher overheard him talking to me. Well, this got around work very quickly. A few weeks later, one of my co-workers set the record straight. The principal was actually the one who cheated on his XW. He’s also a serial cheater. I would have to verify too, but not sure how that can be done without talking to the XW?

      And yes to what others above have said above. Women suck too! I personally know of five women who cheated on their husbands. Two left for their AP’s and three are still with their husbands.

      • Yeah except real male chumps don’t brag about it. It tends to be a subject filed back with childhood fears and unintentional homosexual thoughts with big bold letters “DO NOT OPEN”. A real chump won’t tell you he’s a chump for the same reason you won’t talk about menstruation flow, irritable bowel, suicidal thoughts, and your bank account on the first date: it’s a sensitive subject. I’ve remarried and my own wife doesn’t know the gory details of how I became a chump. She knows she got dumped by me for cheating and that’s it. You’re not going to get any sort of registry of chumped guys. Ever.

    • No kidding. I went to a support group last night, and chumps are painfully nice, empathetic, great people who were forced to put up with a lot of bullshit and are learning how to live in a life they didn’t design.

      I only want to date chumps when I’m ready — it’s a trust and shared experience thing.

      • I date a fellow chump. It’s pretty great. It’s just a daily large helping of reciprocal thoughtfulness and support. And it’s all new to me! Hard to accept it and I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. He’s someone from my past that I knew as a kid so it makes trusting him manageable, otherwise I would not be dating.

        So, it’s worth holding out for. People who have been betrayed get each other in a way others don’t. And we’ve mostly been through hell so we’re super appreciative of all the little things that make someone special and great.

        Best of luck!

        • Some chumps are good partners. However, my last boyfriend, my now ex-husband and some of my previous partners claimed to be chumps—they may have been—and they were jerks of the worst magnitude. My last boyfriend was someone I thought was my friend for nearly thirty years before I started dating him. Now I don’t trust anyone.

          Two years since my last boyfriend who I would have died for abandoned me for young work subordinate/now second wife. I recently met someone who seems quite compatible, intelligent, bit younger, attractive, and interested in me, but I plan to proceed very slowly in this relationship, which i realize will probably not progress beyond friendship. I got burned, and I learned. Ideally, this one won’t want to run away from me and repeatedly tell me so. Ideally, my parent status, career status, etc. won’t scare him off.

          • I gotta tell you, I think after all that I’d reconcile with singlehood. You’re very brave for putting yourself out their again. If this thing with my current guy fails, I’m done. And, I suspect those “chumps” you dated weren’t true chumps at all.

    • Nicole,

      What would be acceptable to you for verification? I’d have no problem having a woman talk to my relatives. But I don’t know if that’s trustworthy enough for someone to go on. I’ve been thinking for a while this would be a great idea, but now you’ve punctured my balloon. It’s a good point, though.

  • Great article Tracy and great comments above.

    But you missed one: lack of reproductive choice.

    I love both my children, but the fact of the matter was that my oldest was not my choice, nor an accident. My cheater was worried about her clock ticking and decided to tell me a little white lie about her cycling (backed by a degree in human reproductive biology). Me her new BF living 2000 miles away and starting a new job.

    She called with the news, told me she didn’t want to get married, told me she was keeping the baby and asked for a check.

      • Then you won’t be offended when I point out to you that men CAN control their paternity. They would just prefer to not wear condoms, and keep the burden and expense of birth control on women.

        In fact, more recently, studies were done on an effective contraceptive pill for the men to take. Most of the guys in the study discontinued use of it because they didn’t like how it made them feel.

        With that said, I am relieved to be raising daughters and not sons.

        • Calgal1 I respect your opinion, but would point out that I wore condoms for most of two marriages as the primary contraception, 15 years in total bc neither wife liked how the pills made them feel. Stbx eventually got an iud, which corresponded to her starting her decade of (bareback) adultery.

          And while I DO know how the birds and bees work, I have had a total of **1** unprotected, unmarried sexual encounter in my life, at my partners reassurance. Foolish to be sure, thanks for the reminder.

          But equally true a deceit, with her lying and knowing exactly when she was ovulating. That resulted in a child that I was excited about and love, but which I did not choose to have.

          • The Dickhead got a vasectomy just a little over a year after we were married. He already had two children and I have never wanted to have children. That first year though, my hormones were jumpy and I often wondered if I wanted to be a mother. I was 33 to his 26. He kept convincing me that I didn’t and I was just being swayed by reality pregnant shows and other family members. Ultimately we did not have children together and I’m okay with that.

            While he really did not want another child, I think the biggest reason was to have carefree sex with whoever he wanted, whenever he wanted, with no unwanted babies.

            • Given that Mal got knocked up by an AP in her first marriage, I suspect she felt the same way about the IUD.

          • I might also add that condoms have an “unintended pregnancy rate” of 15%,
            I know a women whose husband had a vasectomy and she ended up with twins.
            And I know a man whose wife was on the pill and got pregnant because she took antibiotics.
            And so on.
            Just some factoids to chew on.

            • The failure rate on condoms is empirical, and is related to the use of damaged and expired condoms (carrying em around in your wallet? Dude.) And people ‘not using them correctly’, which means **consistently**.

              Barring that chit, condoms are a very reliable means of BC.

              That said, I did have a college friend have a condom ‘break’, and she did get pregnant from that.

        • “With that said, I am relieved to be raising daughters and not sons”.

          Could you elaborate on this? I don’t want to jump to the conclusion that this is misandry.
          Are you relieved because you think daughters are less likely to get into sexual situations that lead to unwanted pregnancy? I’m just confused here, not accusing you of being a man hater. I have a son, and in many ways I think he’s easier than a daughter would be!

          • Not a man hater. Nor do I think girls are less sexually active. I just know my daughters can get IUDs, and also keep their birth control status to themselves. Which I’ve instructed them to do so that any partner they may have is required to wear a condom. They know STD protection is as important as birth control.

            The female gender has control over whether to bring conception to birth.

            My comment was made to a gentleman that was duped into creating a pregnancy with a partner he trusted to not be planning to get pregnant. Therefore my comment was intended to relate specifically to the necessity and use of birth control.

            Some children are easy, some are more challenging. I’m not sure it’s gender specific.

        • There is a distinct difference between a man not wearing a condom because of taste and placing the burden on the woman AND a couple mutually deciding on a BC choice, then being betrayed by lies and deceit. It’s not a black and white issue.

          But I hear what you’re saying–women shouldering the burden of BC is a total pisser, and I’m glad it’s getting discussed more openly.

          • It’s also a foolish choice for a man to make (or refuse to make) because no one should put the burden of preventing pregnancy solely on the other party. If both parties protect, that would be near 100% effective.

  • I definitely think men make it harder on themselves by the whole “take everything with stoicism and don’t talk about it” thing. I was fortunate to have a best friend since we were 5 years old who I knew I could go to – he and his wife ended up being my main support through a lot of this.

    I got absolutely killed on number 5, since my stbxw manipulated me into moving back to her home country with her before she blew our family up with cheating, where the courts have an extreme bias toward leaving children with mothers AND an anti-foreigner bias. My lawyer made it clear – unless she was addicted to drugs or in prison, all she had to do was ask for 100% custody and she would get it. The need to appease her enough so that she didn’t take our daughter away completely added an incredible level of suckitude to an already rotten time.

    But thanks to the community at CL I’ve pushed through it. Thanks for the shoutout!

  • No fault 50/50 can feel like a shit sandwich to the betrayed spouse. It IS a SUPERSIZED shit sandwich to the guy chumps (and female chumps) who have the privilege of losing homes, retirement money, bank accounts and spousal support to a cheater ex. My Ex resents every penny I received in our divorce. Not sure he realizes I could have been the one that cheated and abandoned him and our children, and he’d have had to split assets and income with me just the same.

    All the guy chumps out there that are living that scenario, you have my sympathy.

    • That’s the way it is in my state. My attorney told me that the court’s goals are to: 1. divide debt. 2. divide assets 3. equalize income for a certain period of time. In my state the lesser earning spouse is entitled to 1 year of spousal support for every 3 years of marriage (kids grown, so no child support/custody issues for me). It did not matter to the court who was the chump (me), and who was the cheater (XH).

      So yeah, it is absolutely a shittier sandwich for the higher earning spouse that is also the chump.

      I am absolutely sure XH believes he got a raw deal. I would trade every penny he has paid for my family to have not been blown up.

  • I forgot how embarrassing the STD testing was. I feel like the person administering the tests assumed I was the irresponsible one, the one who was cheating. This embarrassment was a close second to a severe bladder infection I had two years before DDay. My GP assumed it was because I was cheating (I wasn’t). I now wonder if this was because my XW was cheating and I caught something from her.

    I wasn’t perfect by any stretch but I tried very hard to be what I thought she and our kids needed. What I’m left with now is distrust of almost everyone and a bunch of 20+ year Switzerland friends who watched me have a nervous breakdown (consoled me) and then went out for drinks with my XW and her AP 8 months later.

    I’ve listened to “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life” in audio book format more than 10 times. I listen to it whenever my XW appears to be “nice” and I need a reminder of just how cruel she was when she discarded me after 20+ years together.

    And yes, when we split people assumed it was I who was cheating. Insult to injury.

    Thank’s Chump Lady and Chump Nation!

    • Well here on this site, we believe you. I hope this column allows more men to talk about this cheating stuff. FWIW it is worth, I am such a chump that have been through two Std tests, done many years apart. 🤦‍♀️

    • I thought I’d be really embarrassed by the STD testing, but I just told my doctor the truth (my wife has been having an affair so I need to get tested) and actually it was fine. I think it helped that I was in such deep denial that somehow it didn’t occur to me for 6 months that I needed STD tests, so I was mostly past the nonstop-confusion-and-despair stage. All this was slightly complicated by the fact that my wife and I had the same doctor, and I wanted to set the stage in case I tested positive for anything and the doctor had a duty to inform my wife about it (if anything had popped up I would have been in the strange situation of my own doctor informing my wife about an STD I’d gotten from her).

      • I too found a supportive place for STD testing. I told the two female techs doing the blood draw what went down and they were super nice. It was a rare case of my story being believed outside of CN.

        Sigh.

        • I was never embarrassed by the std testing because even if I were the slutty one, testing is the responsible, adult thing to do.

          Testing is cool, man! No one should be ashamed of taking charge of their sexual health and being safe!

    • Since I have since remarried to another chump, some people think I was the one who cheated and left the XW for another woman. I am still telling people that I didn’t cause the divorce. People just assume that the man is the cheater.

      • Might well be your XW’s family & her network spreading lies — I’ve seen an actual example of that — I think the phrase is that if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth…?

        STBXW’s sister is also a cheater (several affairs) and the marriage ended when her XH eventually found out. She got dumped by her married OM but still went out partying with other divorcees while her devastated XH (I remember how much pain he was in from one phone call) reconnected with an old college GF. They got back together and he married her a couple of years after the divorce.

        Years later, his XW is done with the partying but still single and now bitter that her XH remarried. So her and her family spin the lie that it was in fact her XH who was the one having an affair with his old GF, which is why she got dumped, divorced and he’s now married to her!

        But you know, by constantly repeating these lies, this family (even from the mother too!) have managed to convince others of this story (I had to correct someone about this recently). So now STBXW’s cheater sis is treated as the victim and her XH the evil one who broke up the family! I fully expect that will be me someday soon too

    • ChumpedtoDumped,

      You’re saying a lot that resonates w/me. I’m glad to know I’m not the only other male chump who feels hurt when the XW tries to act nice towards me (it hurts much more than the usual crap she sends), even though it’s only in text or email (I’m practicing serious greyrock w/her. I’d go total NC if it wasn’t for the three kids. Especially our youngest, of whom we’re sharing custody).

      The focus is on the word ACT, because that’s all it is w/her. My heart however, feels as if I’m hearing from the person I loved and trusted so much all those years, but my mind is pulling on it, reminding me that that person doesn’t exist anymore, if they ever did. I’ve shed serious tears writing this. That’s how much this shit still hurts. I’m pretty damn sure she’s got a personality disorder of some type, possibly covert narcissism, so I don’t believe she’s capable of truly understanding what she’s done. She did admit in the not quite two weeks she was in the house w/me after D-day but before she moved out to be w/her then boss, her twu wuv, that she thinks there’s something wrong w/her. At the time, I was playing the pick-me dance and trying hard to get her to consider reconciling. I told her I didn’t know if there was something wrong w/her, but that she was definitely “different.” I knew then that something was definitely wrong w/her; I just didn’t want to upset the possibility of reconciliation at the time. Ha! What a joke that hope was.

      I’m two years and almost four months out from D-day, and almost five months out from the divorce being absolute, and her betrayal still kicks my heart’s ass. I thought she was the love of my life. Couldn’t have been more wrong. Over 25 yrs as a couple, and we were friends years before that. Almost 25 yrs married when she absolutely fucked me and our family over by having the affair w/her then boss. I listen to Queen’s “Save Me” and think, yes, that’s how it feels (I was a Queen fan from the seventies on up; I’m not just jumping on the recent bandwagon).

      As for Switzerland friends, yes, I’ve been dealing w/them over the last year or so, too. My XW is a local politician, dazzling everyone w/her abilities. And the Switzerland friends don’t want to lose out on their connection to such a sparkly turd.

      Well, after reading Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life, I realized what the fuck do I need them around for? If they can’t understand that what’s she’s done to me and our family is so incredibly selfish and destructive that it should not be rewarded w/friendship, then they can fuck off as far as I’m concerned.

      I need true friends to support me and my kids now, not ones that are going to bop back and forth between me and my ex. One of them actually created more problems between my ex and I, because she decided she was smart enough to interpret what was being done and said by both of us in the aftermath (WRONG) and created more drama. I really don’t need more of that shit.

      Another one saw her and the former boss together when they were in the middle of the affair in a supermarket playing the happy couple and could’ve told me about it so I could have confronted her sooner, but didn’t. Then told me she hoped I wouldn’t blame her, as (are you ready for the bullshit line?) “how does anyone really know what’s happening in someone else’s marriage?“

      As far as I’m concerned, they’re all intellectual cowards. This woman is married longer than I was, and I wonder how she’d feel if the situation was reversed? Yeah, I doubt that ever entered her head.

      I started this on the day this post came out, and the pain it caused me forced me to put it aside for a few days. So, I don’t know if you’ll see this, but I had to write it for myself if no one else. I’m very sorry you’re in a similar situation to me, ChumpedtoDumped, and I wish you and your family all the best in your struggles to survive and thrive after the shit your XW put you all through. You’ve got people like me thinking about and wishing fervently that your life will get better (all of ours, really). The sooner that happens, the happier we’ll all be. Tuesday and meh can’t come soon enough, eh?

  • Thank you male chumps for taking this moment to step out of the shadows with a first post, and thank you to the long time male chumps who frequently chime in. Please know that you have helped me (and I am sure others) know that not all men cheat. That there ARE decent male people in a world that gives the wink-and-nod to dudes who play around and abandon decent wives for chicks half their age. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    You are the reason so many of us wish this was also a highly vetted dating site 😉 I know it sounds like a joke but I would pay a shit ton of money to an intermediary to introduce me to a KNOWN CHUMP man, someone who has gone through a filtering process to weed out predators. Literally I would pay thousands for such an exclusive membership, kind of like ladies’ night in reverse where there the few eligible men who choose to can find a match geographically, demographically, and by interests, with a chumped lady (or chumped gay man). We certainly have a lot in common already in the chump experience. Maybe I need to start that service– invitation only, with full disclosure of histories, guaranteed to be low key and genuine rather than a tinder swipe meat market.

    Alas, the universe will have to help us find each other until then.

    • Unfortunately, since cheating really is all about them (not about us or the state of our marriage), it means that the chumped come from all kinds of marriages – good, bad, and just normal – and are all kinds of people – good, bad and just normal. Just because you were chumped doesn’t mean you were a bad spouse, but it doesn’t mean you were necessarily a good spouse either.

      I suppose it’s true that we’ve been through similar experiences and maybe have some commonality of perspective. I certainly have a deep affinity with the other betrayed spouse in my particular situation. I don’t think we’d ever date but do I wish she lived within meeting-up-for-a-bottle-of-wine distance.

    • Now I.C., my wife was chumped in her first marriage but we met purely by accident waiting on our pizzas.

      I will say from experience that most chumps on here are honest, trustworthy, giving people and they make great spouses. Unlike other ladies that I dated after my divorce who had never been chumped and did not really understand, my wife just “got” what I went through which helped things so much.

      I hope when CL launches the new forum that there is a place where single chumps can meet and talk.

    • Now I. C.,
      Unfortunately, some chumps are real jerks—not people you would want to date. I believe that my last partner WAS a chump—he was also a lying, invalidating, insulting. criticizing, unloving, controlling opportunist who most people thought was the greatest thing since sliced bread. (And I thought that I knew him for 30 years before we started dating.) Infidelity is far from the only thing that hurts people. Then there are the issues of geography, age, lifestyle, etc. aside from character. I am giving up wasting time and money in a search for a partner or even a date. I wish you luck, Now I.C.

  • Another one: false accusations of abuse.

    Both of my wives made such accusations against me, as a supercharged version of character assassination. BOth were believed widely, resulting in my near total ostracism and scorn during both chumpings (the second wife referenced the first wife’s claim as evidence).

    StBX actually called the cops to start a record on me, threatened to destroy my professional career, and hired a divorce law firm that specializes in high profile abuser cases.

    Fortunately there was no abuse, no evidence of abuse and she was high if she thought that would work.

    • PasDeDeux,
      I empathize. My now ex-husband did something very similar when he left me, the loyal spouse.

  • I have reached the conclusion that there are shitty people of both genders. There’s enough variability that it doesn’t really matter whether one gender is worse or not – when you’re trying to decide how to relate to one particular person (male or female) the only reliable approach is to evaluate that one person’s character.

    I admit that before this shitstorm happened to me I was prejudiced too – I figured women were just better at relationships than men. Since then, I’ve seen enough chumped men and chumped lesbians on here to understand that men are not the problem and women are not the solution: shitty people are the problem, and people with character are the solution – regardless of gender.

  • I have been posting for over a year. Men talk about it, but it has an extra layer of humiliation. People just assume that you were a bad husband and/or couldn’t keep your woman. Also testing your children and realizing one or more isn’t yours adds an extra layer of pain. Most courts don’t care and so makes the chump pay for another mans child.

    • Testing your kids and finding out they aren’t yours has to be “an extra layer of pain” that is off the charts. What a horrible situation. So sorry for all the chumps who’ve had to deal with this!

  • Shout out to the Male Chumps – you all Rock !

    It does not matter the gender of the Chump no one will ever know the pain of betrayal until it happens to them . No one will ever know that feeling of the weak knees , the instant hit of I’m either going to be sick or have diarrhea. The feeling of the world collapsing under your very feet and you don’t have the strength to carry your own body weight . The instant WTF has just happened .

    Here is where i think it differs

    Women usually have a close friend / sister / mother to scream and shout at ( I only have my friends no parents or family ) . Although men may have the closeness of one of these relationships i think men think they can’t talk out for looking weak or hurt .

    I am fed up to my back teeth of the ” Just Man up ” saying . I work in a male dominated environment and although my work have been brilliant with me i don’t know if a man would even admit it to the men i work with .

    I think it is easier for a man to meet someone new than it is for a woman . I know if i met a male chump and he told me he was a chump i would be ” Oh you poor man what a bitch how could she treat a good man like you like that ? ” I think men go out more as well socially than women as most of the time its the woman who has been left child rearing , not getting paid child support so money is tight etc .

    When women say they are chumps it often is thought well she must suck at sex / cooking / cleaning what is she crap at that her man cheated on her ? Oh your husband ran off with a girl 16 years younger than you did he ? Lucky bastard wink wink nudge nudge !

    Either gender cheaters all suck and CL & CN don’t

  • The OM is also a somewhat different animal than the OW. Not in call cases. Below are my observations, based on reading this blog.

    (1) An OM is less likely to contact the chump than an OW. So many male chumps have been told by their cheating wives that they are not confident/passionate/strong enough. And yet, if the OM had any real confidence/passion/strength, he’d show up at your front door to tell you that he and your wife are together. But he hasn’t done that, right? That’s because he’s a sniveling coward.

    (2) The OMs are less likely to fantasize about “replacing” you. Yes, some do (my OM did). But, in a somewhat stereotypical sense, a higher proportion of OMs are in it just for the sex.

    (3) Our society doesn’t call the OM a “home wrecker.” We reserve that moniker for OWs. Overall, we tend to place more blame on OWs than OMs. This may be tied to CL’s point #2. It’s not so much that the OM took her away, but that the male chump drove her to it. The OM was just some passive manly man, minding his own business, when the cheating wife made a “small mistake” because of how unhappy she was in her marriage. Overall, the OM is actually a “good guy”–the kind of guy you’d want to have a beer with.

    I’m sure there’s more differences. Could be worth a blog post.

    • This is brilliant! Maybe the OM/now BF would have shown up if he didn’t get arrested and sent to prison (again) less than two months after their night in the hotel … Been one week since ex was served a cease and desist order to keep him from communicating with our 4 boys. She hasn’t acknowledged it.

      • Have always felt an understanding of how this is even harder for a guy. As a woman I felt judged because even my girlfriends couldn’t believe I was so crushed and confused about what to do next. My friends were used to me being super strong, and I felt they thought less of me for continuing to talk about it. This was several years before CL started her blog, and thank God she and CN helped me stop trying to untangle the skein! For guys, I can only imagine this is much, much worse. Even if you are ca guy who tells a guy, it usually would be a pat on the back and an I feel bad for you guy! Now you have exposed a weakness to another male that will likely change the subject quite quickly and make you wish you hadn’t spoken up at all. That sucks big time.
        I believe cheating husbands/mates tell the truth when they are looking for a good time, not wanting an affair to “turn into anything”. (meaning commitment) They find a side piece looking for fun, excitement & supply. On the other hand, I believe that the women they court are saying they are fine with this setup to get their foot in the door, but really intend to try to win your guy over, make them change their mind about you, etc. In other words, they are less likely to reveal their true motives.
        I am not sure about the reverse, but it is fairly ingrained in the female not to be giving herself away for just a happy meal-even if he does let you supersize,
        Both are surely fools for outside attention or they would not fall into cheating at all.
        The cheater asks how they would know if you are not also cheating? For most chumps it is as simple as because I said I wouldn’t! I don’t entertain the thought, and do not put that energy out there for cheaters to pick up on.
        I believe this is why the OM’s don’t contact the AP’s husband – they don’t want the drama and they are getting what they want. The woman is more apt to be targeting the guy for something more than she agreed to. She doesn’t want to just put out, she is in it to win it no matter what she said at the start!
        Also agree with someone earlier who said that no one you speak to understands this cheating pain unless it happens to them.

  • To top it all off, try explaining to people how you were abused for nearly 20 years by a female spouse. Women abusing men is another story that needs to be talked about. Emotional, psychological, verbal and physical abuse can go both ways.
    You either get laughed at or told you must have enjoyed it.

    • As UXWorld stated this is that Alpha, Beta male BS at work.
      Not to anger anyone but the comedian Joe Rogan made a good point— if Harvey Weinstein had been Harvina and had done the same exact thing to young male actors–would anyone care ??
      Why was is rightfully awful and there is outrage when a male teacher seduces a female student but “no big deal” when a female teacher seduces a male student ?

      Abuse of ANYONE is wrong and should not be tolerated !!

  • Thank you Tracy for today’s column. I am a chump, but because of insights and tools I have learned here, I am a chump moving steadily down the path to M’eh. Tuesday is getting closer and closer. I have been a lurker for the last 1 1/2 years, with a few posts scattered in here and there.

    My Ex told me that she had cheated on me, and I was in shock and started the pick me dance that I engaged in for over 10 months. I honestly don’t know how I avoided losing my job and my sanity during that time span. I now understand how a person can function on auto pilot. I just floated through each day, in an ocean of my own sorrow, anger, self doubt and pain. I was beyond fortunate to have a mother, and a boss who I finally told my story to (who was a chump in her own right) , and this site.

    I was able to see all the bullshit that I was internalizing and taking ownership of was just that…..bullshit. The same load of crap all chumps are presented with by our cheaters. I was able to see the BPD and narcissistic traits I was unable to see or accept in my Ex.

    Because of what I have learned by being a member of the CN, I have no problem sharing with friends what I had to go through to get to where I am now. I reached out to a High School classmate who I found out had been cheated on. I know she appreciated having someone else to talk to who understood.

    I stopped asking myself what was wrong with me, putting a value on myself based on her behavior. I now know….I am worth being valued and some people, (including the mother of my sons), just suck! So thank you all for sharing and providing your stories, too. It’s not a stretch to say this community has saved my sanity, if not my life.

  • Thanks CL for writing this. As a male chump who has moved on I don’t spend as much time posting here as I used to, but felt I should add my voice to this.

    Been divorced from my serial cheater since 2015. My kids are less than a year away from 18 so there is some light at the end of the tunnel. I always hoped “co-parenting” would get better but the disordered thrive on drama and need their kibbles.

    When I first sought support I found the RIC and a discussion forum “Talk About Marriage”. Most folks there advised me to do the 180, recognize my part in the affairs, or some other wreckonciliation BS. There were a few, though that advised me to “man-up and kick the skank out!” The right direction, but put in abusive terms.

    I did seek support that was geared specifically towards men with no success. I joined a local divorce support group that did help me as it was full mostly of fellow chumps including some men. I made some lasting friendships there and met the woman who would become my loving partner.

    Thankfully I eventually found this blog and support of CN. I introduced my partner to CN (who feels the way I do about it – it saved our lives) and tried to pass it along to others in the local support group. I bought a few copied of Tracy’s first book and added it to the support group library. I no longer attend that group but hope some folks there have found CN as well.

    I’d say as a male chump, I may have had some better success reaching out for support and finding it than many other male chumps. My family was also very supportive. So I’ve been lucky in that way.

    I do hope we can continue to change the narrative on infidelity and expose the disordered’s narrative for what it is, another betrayal. As a lifetime member of CN, I’ll stay connected and do my part.

    • My serial cheating, hooker hIrving exhusband met his current girlfriend in divorce care support group. I call her his Divorce Care “Support” Schmoopie.

  • One of my friends is a chumped guy, and it really did a number on him. Hope all you male chumps reach the side of happiness again. This shit is not fun for any gender to deal with. Stay strong!

  • I dunno but I usually feel worse u I male chumps cause if there are kids involved the kids end up more often then not with the cheating shits.
    My cheating ex had a cheating mother. She cheated with another woman. Back in the day when people were not about even pretending to accept same sex relationships.
    Her husband was put out of the family home as it was on her mothers land. He moved back in with his mother. The children remained with him. He was humiliated.(how horrid could he have been that she prefers a woman over a man?!)
    He would not or could not set foot in the house admns his children basically got to see him as a by the way dad. Meanwhile the mother would travel for months at a time leaving my cheater and his sister alone as young teens to supervise themselves. She would bring the woman and have her staying at the house. The two of them in the same bed. With the children there.
    The whole thing created alienation. Now the father although he stayed involved is viewed as a by the way.
    They don’t include him like they do cheater mum. It’s almost like he is the one paying. I hate it

  • I had a girlfriend in college who told me she had decided to try women, because she always seemed to pick the wrong type of man. Surprise. she picked the same type, even though they were women. The gender was not the issue. She did not fix her picker, and there are bad people in both genders.

    Many female chumps on the site know just how aggressive and manipulative the OW can be. It is infuriating to a woman with a moral compass to see these women “work”, both in the dating pool and in the workplace. I am not forgiving the cooperative partners, but I believe our cultural norms do not encourage people of either gender to maintain their moral boundaries. The general interpretation seems to consider “chumps’ to be sexless, boring, predictable, etc. The RIC and society in general loves to assign blame to the injured partner, and find ways to forgive the offenders, especially if they are in positions of power and/or wealthy.

    I was told (during a heated discussion) that part of the reason it was so much fun to cheat on me was because I was dependable and responsible, and intelligent. Outsmarting me was a challenge, and made the affair even sweeter. I was punished for being trusting, and for giving another chance to someone who did not deserve it. I should have known better, according to him. Really funny, right?

    After living through these experiences, it is difficult to trust anyone again. Men may take a lot of heat for cheating and lying, but it takes two to tango. Women do seem to heal differently, and network differently than men do. Perhaps communication style is another boundary that needs work. I have sons, and brothers that I love. I cannot write off all men because of the actions of some men, and I hope men will give women the same chance. Our legal system is archaic, and inequity is galling. It does not have to be this way. We have to communicate and be willing to change for the better. We have to commit to the hard work of doing these things. If not, what kind of a world will we leave our children? I encourage any chump, male or female to embrace their moral belief system, and live their life in a manner which supports their values. Perhaps the future generations will watch our actions, and learn from our mistakes.

  • Solidarity with all you guy chumps – so glad to see you owning your stories! Even though I’m a woman, I was cheated on by a woman, so I can relate to some of what you’re saying. As UXworld said above, there’s something really perverse about being betrayed by someone of the gender with a reputation for being more emotionally attuned and compassionate. My female Cheater shows a lot of compassion for everyone but me, her spouse (I’m also a woman) of 21 years.

    I agree this is not the Pain Olympics, and I’m not trying to upstage my fellow straight guy chumps. This column just got me thinking about what might be unique about being a queer chump – maybe CL can chew on that in a future column. For sure, there’s something awful about having fought so hard in recent years for marriage equality, only to be betrayed and abused by my chosen partner. All our friends and family have been shocked – Shocked! I say – by the fact that my professorial, feminist spouse could do what she has done.

    And then there’s the kids, and the problem of tokenism. One of the ways to push back against disapproval of our family makeup from their friends (or really, their friends’ families) at school and other activities is to sell the narrative that “Love wins.” (For many years, we have had a rainbow lawn sign to that effect!) I have not yet had the conversation with my kids (DD8 and DD17) about what has happened, but I can imagine the devastation they will likely feel that “love no longer makes a family.” Of course, that devastation will NOT be my fault. And it’s not so far off from the sickening reality-check most kids of chump divorces have to endure. But I have no idea how my younger kid is going to explain her family make-up now: “I have two moms who used to love each other but don’t anymore.” What does that say to her and to her friends about same-sex marriage as an institution? (Again, a problem of tokenism out here in the suburbs.)

    I will think about this some more, and would love to hear from other queer chumps about this question. Maybe I’ll start a thread in the discussion forum!

    Back to you, guy chumps. Be mighty, find meh.

    • I can tell you *exactly* what that means: it means that lesbians are people too. Not better or worse than the rest of us – just people. In my circle, anyway, we’re past the point where one gay couple had to represent all of you, so it’s fine (perhaps even healthy!) for there to be a few who are fallible. Still, I’m sorry your XW had to be one of the examples that proved it.

      • Thanks for responding, IG, and I’ve valued your contributions to CN. Maybe it’s healthy to see in general that queer people are human too, but you have to keep in mind that we are still very embattled in society generally. My DD7 came home in the spring with stories about how her classmates (in our socially homogenous suburban community) tried to argue with her that being gay is bad. Nothing about our family situation is healthy for her individually, and while she *might* learn some resilience that will stand her in good stead later in life, this is a total shitshow for now. The queer parents thing is just another angle of shittiness that I was thinking about.

        • LezChump;You are still setting a good example by living your values, even when others don’t. Do not transfer the responsibility of others onto your shoulders. You already have enough pain you are dealing with.

    • Your daughter needs to be able to say ‘my 2 moms got divorced because Mom X lied to Mom A, and broke a big promise they’d made to each other, to not have other girlfriends.”

      Your Ex will likely gaslight your kids; don’t let that happen.

  • I’ve been here for awhile and mostly lurk these days since it is 7+ years from my Dday and divorce and I’m now happily remarried.

    I have seen how horrible it can be for female chumps both my wife and SIL were chumped in their first marriages. My poor SIL has a severely special needs child and her Ex is a deadbeat who refuses to pay a dime in child support or medical bills for his child. My SIL has been in and out of court with the loser for 12 years, so I see and know that side of things and I feel for all of you that have to go through that.

    In my case though, I was an honest, faithful, hard working male chump who made a good income. My wife had quit her $60,000/year job when we had kids to be a SAHM and I was good with that. It’s a long story but basically she was planning at least 3 years to leave me and totally set me up. On Dday I found out that she was ***** 3 OM and wanted a divorce.
    Before I went to court, my lawyer told me that I was going to get *****ed and badly but if I listened to him and did what he said, he’d try to lessen the damage. The fact that she was cheating did NOT matter.
    Her abuse of me in front of others DID NOT MATTER.
    I went before the female judge who it was rumored hated men and evidence be damned she gave my Ex everything she wanted and more and there was nothing that I could do.
    I went from living in a nice home to living in my rv in a trailer park eating PBJ and ramen noodles. Between alimony, child support and medical, she was getting 70% of my income (also the state spreadsheets DON’T take into account taxes–those come out of the payers share).
    I will admit that I was sorely tempted to bail and get a job overseas but I couldn’t do that to my kids.
    I struggled along and luckily after 18 months even though she and the kids were living with OM#3, twu luv won out and they got married ending my alimony so I got a cheap apartment. Since then things money wise have improved but the divorce devastated me financially.

    On other fronts she told everyone that I was the cheater and was abusive. I am supposedly a dead beat dad even though she and OM#3 are living high on the hog off of my money and yet I still have to buy the kids clothes or they would have nothing. After Dday, most of my “friends” were no longer friends and several who had known me for years asked “what did YOU do to drive her into the arms of another man” ?

    As CL said, it is not the pain olympics but I went through Hell and I believe that God sent me my current wife and I am happy as can be now and my relationship with my 3 kids is good.
    To any male chumps reading this, just persevere, do the right things, always do right by your kids and in time things will get better.

    • Every time I hear your story I get pissed off on your behalf all over again. My ex was the one who cheated and devalued me and hurt me and quite frankly the kids as well but even with all of that I never tried to screw him the way your ex screwed you. It was not my goal to punish ex financially and I have always done what was within my power to accommodate his relationship to his kids (short of encouraging them to have a relationship with Schmoopie but I don’t actively discourage it either). To do what your ex did to you when she was the one who behaved badly in the marriage is unconscionable.

      I am so glad things have gotten better for you and that you now have a woman who appreciates you. That is your good Karma. That bus is slow too but it did eventually show up for you. In a weird way, that makes me feel better too.

    • Laughing Gator,

      I’m so happy you are happily remarried and everything turned out well with your kids. Stories like yours gets me so mad! A man should not be financially ruined by a cheater!! No one should be financially ruined by a cheater! Cheating should be an automatic no alimony for the cheater! I can only imagine how many people are paying support to someone who cheated on them. It’s not right! I hope there’s a special place in Hell for people who cheat on their spouses and take them for all their worth. They are disgusting!

      • Thanks everyone for your kind words.

        I really believe that laws need to be updated and people’s actions SHOULD matter during the divorce settlement. I also wish that you could force your Ex to account for what the child support money is spent on.
        My Ex and OM#3 both drive brand new $40k cars yet there is never money for any of the kids extra curricular activities or clothes. My Ex has no idea what size clothes my kids wear because she never buys them clothes. Yet OM#3’s son is treated like a prince and wears nothing but designer clothes that my Ex buys with MY child support money !!

        Luckily for me, my youngest turns 18 in 2 years and all the kids have phones that I pay for so we talk and if the kids need anything they ask me directly. I haven’t spoken to my Ex in 6 months and it is great !! My Ex also has no idea the resentment she has bred in the kids towards her, OM#3 and their step brother “the little prince”.
        Those chickens are going to come home to roost eventually.

      • Martha,

        I couldn’t agree more. And they are in a special Hell of their own making. Their life is for shit. They might not realize it, but others can see it. My family can see it. And my two oldest kids, our daughters, recently told me (well, at Easter) that the FW XW accused them of not wanting their mother to be happy, since they can’t stand her AP that she’s shacked up w/.

        Is that a sane, normal parent that does that? No. I wish to God I could do something about her behavior towards them, but they’re both over 20 yo so this is something they’re going to have to learn about their mother as well as how to deal w/their mother on their own.

        By the way, I had an Aunt Martha and she was my favorite aunt growing up. No nonsense, but full of love. Best wishes to you and your family, and a speedy healing process for you all. Tuesday is coming!

  • Thanks for posting this chump lady. I’ve read your blog and “Leave a Cheater..” and your viewpoint on infidelity is really the only one that makes sense to chumpy ‘ol me. I try to swing by your blog every day but I’ve never posted.

    Tomorrow will be my 26th wedding anniversary. My wife’s cheating happened 20yrs ago. Typical 6mo coworker affair. I see how she triangulated and played the AP with indecision about leaving or staying in our marriage. I also see how she played the “I don’t love you” or “you’re too busy” push only to hoover me back in with sex of affection bullshit with me. It took a bunch of therapy, EMDR, meditation, journaling and books to get to figure out that cheating really is about the cheater’s issues and to reach some sort of acceptance or meh.

    We got some crappy MC and I got some semi solid legal advice years ago and I decided to stay for my own reasons. A huge factor was my parent’s divorce when I was 8yo. I endured a couple of crappy years of sporadic visitation with the new AP stepmother and siblings. The whole experience was a mindfuck and my Biggest Fear was putting my kids through that same shitshow. So I stayed and swallowed my pride with the shit sandwich.

    The nest will be empty very soon and I’m reevaluating my options now. I’ve discussed divorce with my wife and she’s mortified and doesn’t understand why. My marriage is definitely not “better” post cheating.

    • “The nest will be empty very soon and I’m reevaluating my options now. I’ve discussed divorce with my wife and she’s mortified and doesn’t understand why. My marriage is definitely not “better” post cheating.”

      Tip: Stop discussing it with her and discuss it with every divorce lawyer in town that offers a free initial consultation. Find out how long that well will be poisoned for her and to your benefit (is it forever? 3 years? etc.) after you consult them. Ask which lawyer they wouldn’t want their estranged spouse to hire and then go talk to that lawyer too.

      At the same time, if she hasn’t cheated since then and you let her think you were reasonably happy in the marriage, that isn’t quite fair either. She NEVER should have cheated though. Full stop.

      • My wife never had another full on affair, but she did have an inappropriate incident with another coworker. She shared info about her affair and kissed the guy. That was 5 years ago. The SHTF after that, polygraph, IC, lawyers, post nuptial agreement discussions, divorce and stay discussions, MC. Fun times.

        I’m knocking on 50… I was hoping we could go through mediation and save some of our retirement funds. I know a “amicable” divorce with a people pleasing narc is a pipe dream too.

        I regret not divorcing sooner.

        • “I regret not divorcing sooner.”

          Ugh. I can well imagine you do regret not doing so earlier. That really sucks, Buck. I’m doubly sorry you weren’t able to get a post-nuptial agreement in place in light of her behavior.

          “I was hoping we could go through mediation and save some of our retirement funds. I know a “amicable” divorce with a people pleasing narc is a pipe dream too.”

          I have my fingers crossed for you.

        • Sorry for this journey through pain and wanting to be fair, kind, and reasonable. We Chumps are too good for our cheaters.

          Hugs.

    • Buck, I think you’re mighty for staying for your kids (that takes some major willpower and sacrifice) and you will be mighty for leaving…which you should do, ASAP, and start living anew. You deserve to be cherished and loved. You deserve to be Plan A…NOT Plan Meh

      Best of luck

      • I hope that the narrative ‘we stay for the kids ‘gets changed, though. Because it’s a TERRIBLE example for our kids. One partner abuses and lies and takes advantage, and the other sucks it up. Even if the kids never know about the cheating (and they very well might already know, never mind later in life!), they can see the dynamics in their parents’ marriage.

        That’s one of the ways we learn to be chumps. And one of the ways people learn to be cheaters.

        • Well we know through decades of studies that children who grow up in two-parent homes fare better in every measurable aspect..even if there is abuse in that home. Even if it’s physical abuse. I was a little dumbfounded by these findings, but they exist.

          Maybe you disagree with the findings or maybe you believe divorced parents can mitigate these risks or maybe you think new findings emerge soon given the rapid rate of divorce…but, this is what we “know” right now.

          I personally believe that terrible marriages should end. Abusive marriages should end. Marriages with cheating should end. But I understand what that may mean for kids. And knowledge is power. I can work extra hard to mitigate these effects on my kid.

          No matter, I do not fault someone for staying and, in many ways, admire them for doing so. I also do not fault someone for leaving, cause being with a cheater sucks so hard.

  • I agree there are shitty people who are entitled and selfish regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc… They feel entitled to try on a affair partner whether they are looking to leave their main partnership or eat cake. Akin to wearing an outfit leaving the tags in place then returning it to the store when it’s use is up. And a big shout out to our male chumps out there and may you find your MEH on a Tuesday soon.

    Many years ago, a nurse I worked with transferred to us from another hospital in a large city. She was talking about one of the shittiest parents she had ever encountered (we care for kiddos with cancer). The child had cancer and needed a transplant. Mom had an affair and knew dad/relatives were not a match but she would not reveal to him this was the case nor seek out the bio dad as she said she didn’t know who it was. Right. Really about as low as one can go.

    Really just selfish and entitled at their core. Once you see it, you just can’t ever unsee it.

    • This jackass seems not to understand that groups can appropriate words and deploy them in specific ways. Shakespeare referred to cuckolding and it’s always an insult. White supremacists shorten it to “cuck” to denote a “weak” man who holds “moderate or progressive views” and the word carries racist connotations because of who uses it and how it is used. Not a good idea to get into fights about words with people who know linguistics. Or history. Or culture.

  • My ex called me a “cuck” after I had the audacity to decide it wasn’t acceptable to me and leave.

    Hurt at the time, but it was one of the things I thought about when my heart faltered. She called me…that.

    I carried it in my rational mind (also, the peeing on me while I slept) when I wobbled. I knew, if I ever got back with her, I could never look myself in the eye.

    And when she begged me to not divorce her a few months later, that’s exactly what I told her, “If ever took you back, I could never look myself in the eye.”

    Skip two years, and papers almost signed… 🙂

    • Good for you, chump-pin!

      Amazing how our “sweet” XW’s say what they actually think of us when they cheat.

      When I briefly spied on my ex while she was cheating, I heard how she talked about me to her friends and sister. She had such disdain in her voice–because I was the barrier between her and her fun! And yet, just like your ex, my ex asked me to take her back a few months later. No thanks!!

      Their consistency is their inconsistency!

    • I love this: “If ever took you back, I could never look myself in the eye.”

      Filed under Mantras to Remember, right next to “If my best friend were getting the exact same treatment from their significant other, what would I tell them to do?”

    • “My ex called me a “cuck” after I had the audacity to decide it wasn’t acceptable to me and leave.”
      “(also, the peeing on me while I slept)”

      What the hell? That was so disrespectful and foul…words fail me.

      “Skip two years, and papers almost signed… 😉

      HURRAY! I hope you have a wonderful party to celebrate because she is one sick twist. You slipped the noose on that one, Chump-pin. Also any theoretical children you could have had with her. *shivers*

  • Shout out to all the guys out there who read CL every day and have commented on this article! Props and solidarity as you navigate your chump journey.

    I wanted to say I feel the pain of #6 (alimony / having to pay a bunch of money to get rid of a cheater). How lovely to be the only responsible person in a relationship, the only person who can hold down a stable job and who pays 100% of the mortgage, health insurance, meals, etc. etc. for years on end while the deadbeat lounges on the couch, only to be essentially punished for it by getting mere pennies for child support since, as you know VERY well, your significant other has no income on which to calculate a good amount. Just….lovely.

    It should not be unequally skewed for male chumps, that’s garbage. But the good news is that this is changing, in that an ever-increasing percentage of women are becoming the primary breadwinners of their households in the U.S. Haha just kidding, nothing about continuing to pay for a cheater to live their life is good news. For either gender. 😩

    • Yep. The idea of paying anything to a cheating liar is soul crushing. Child support is not such a huge pill to swallow because it revolves around the well being of your kids and, as a parent, it’s an honor to be able to provide for your kids (IMO). I firmly believe that all states ought to have clauses in their statutes that allow for non-payment of alimony for cheating spouses. They can even apply strict criteria and proof standards–even if many cheaters still get away with it…at least we’d catch some of them! Marriage is a contract…cheating breaks that contract. In contract law, we hold contract breakers accountable financially.

      And you are correct, as women become more relevant and better paid in the work force, the alimony narrative shifts. But in a non-cheating marriage, alimony can make total sense, especially when one partner reduces or eliminates their career so the other can build their up.

  • Oh wow, it’s great to see some new male Chumps making themselves known. I’ve always been grateful for and interested in the male Chump perspective so while I obviously don’t wish Chump status on anyone of any gender or persuasion, it’s good to “hear” more from those of you who are here.

    I second all of my sister Chumps who have mentioned that they would love to find a male Chump partner and/or wish that there was a Chump-Only dating service of some kind to pair up Chumps. I too, have thought those things many, many times over in my years in Chump Nation. I have yet to meet an admitted male Chump IRL, yet to see any male Chumps here in CN who are in both my age demographic (edging towards 60) and geographical area (SW Ohio), and yet to see a male mention Chump Lady or CN in an online dating profile. I’d like to believe that is because all of you worthy (and you’re ALL worthy) male Chumps are being snapped up by some appreciative woman who knows a good man when she sees one. I also hope that this post and the comments that are being made here in your support will encourage you to take an active role here in the Nation. We get you and we appreciate you!

  • Here goes.

    We were together for 11 1/2 years, and close friends for about 12 years prior to that. I invested in us completely, and did the best I could to alter myself to suit her needs and make life work for us both. I worked, she stayed at home (her choice, which I accepted). I paid for the completion of her degree. I supported us while she chased her dream of making indie movies. I took on years of debt to buy her a vehicle of her own. I worked myself sick -literally at least once a year, but kept on going- and eventually worked myself so thin and raw that my chronic depression rose up to consume me and threaten everything I thought we had built.

    So, we moved to another state, fresh start. I found (somewhat) less stressful work while she bided her time to adjust to a new place. I funded her trips back and forth to visit her selfish and manipulative family upon her every request. She eventually found work with a large company, and convinced me to follow suit. At some point I still haven’t identified clearly, she started to drift from me; I attributed it to the stresses of lifestyle adjustments, dealing with my immediate family (who, to be fair, can be a handful), unfamiliar surroundings and sudden promotion. Mostly, I thought it was just me, being insecure. Yes, I thought the red flags were all my own.

    One day before we go to work, she informs me that a male co-worker expressed (through a female proxy) romantic interest in her, and she was taking a short holiday to Myrtle Beach with “an old college girlfriend” to sort out her feelings once and for all. Having just met with a profound emotional shock, I made the grievous mistake of confiding in my boss, who advised me to take it up with her boss. Which, long and short, is what I did. A week passed, without news, and I assumed it had been basically ignored to protect a guy deemed more valuable to the business than myself; I didn’t much care by then, because she finally returned from her vacation and we had made up. The next day she was notified by her supervisor of my foolish effort; that night, I was horrified to look on as she kissed the other man and drove away with him. It was the kind of kiss where, when you see it happen, you know it’s far from the first a couple have shared.

    There was a cold, dark and miserable confrontation late that night, when I found her at home, packing her car with whatever would fit. She revealed that she had stopped loving me, and now loved him and had for quite some time. In the aftermath, and in therapy, I tried to figure out when this had all started; as near as I can figure they had been conducting their affair for at least a year before I stumbled upon their secret. No prize for guessing who her real beachside companion was.

    I was pretty much stuck working there, as they’re the highest-paying employer in the region, with the best benefits. The two of them kept working there -together, as a public couple- and I had to see one or both of them every day… for the following 18 months. Until one day, when I came back from my days off to find an email from her, revealing that they were leaving to begin a splendid and romantic new chapter of their love story, in New England. Bonus heart-stab; along the way, I learned that all of our mutual friends back North knew about the pair of them and had warmly welcomed him while gleefully tossing me away like a spent cigarette.

    Now, I only see her when she makes guest appearances in my nightmares. I don’t actually know what’s become of them and I haven’t succumbed to the morbid curiosity to find out. Yay, personal growth. Knowing her as well as I do, they’re either on the rocks or well and truly done by now. People like them don’t want love, not the real stuff, that takes real care and dedication; they only want the buzzy rush of the chase and capture. Predators eat prey, they don’t take prey home to meet the folks.

    Anyway, I do my best to keep moving forward, and CN has been of inestimable help in that. Tracy, if you see this, I thank you with all my heart; you’re a true-hearted shepherd in the valley of darkness.

    • Josh, long term you will realize that you are SO better off without her !
      Whenever you start missing her or feeling bad, remember that kiss and then remember all that you did for her yet she discarded you like a used napkin without a thought for you or your feelings. That says all that you need to know about her character and most likely her new “twu luv” is anything but and they are either broken up or cheating on each other.

      Be the best person that you can be, fix your picker and eventually if you wish it, you will meet someone worthy of you who will treat you right. Five years ago if someone had said that to me, I would have thought “yeah right” but it DID happen to me one rainy night in my favorite pizza joint waiting for my pizza when a pretty lady asked me if the seat next to me was taken.

      Good Luck !!

    • About the only positive in that story is that thank god they moved away and saved you the trouble of having to quit your well paying job to avoid losing your mind having to see them at work every day. Also, don’t assume that people at work were all ok with it either. I have no doubt there were those who were very disturbed by the whole thing but weren’t in a position to do anything about it or make it their business.

  • Male chump here, and I have two more to add to Tracy’s list.

    The first stems from Tracy’s excellent observation: “Whereas women have support systems, girls nights out, and box wine memes, men have crickets.” The problem is the flip side. When you are a male chump, that female support system becomes your cheating wife’s public relations department for spreading misinformation about you. Cheaters love to blame the chumps for their heinous behavior, and titillating (albeit, false) information spreads like a wildfire in a California canyon. It’s humiliating.

    The second is that a lot of guys (particularly guy chumps) like to fix things, and this instinct becomes self-destructive in the wake of infidelity. On D-day, my wife read me a laundry list of my “faults” (See, “blameshifting”). I thought to myself, “if I just do this and fix that, then everything will be OK.” And when you have three beautiful kids in the equation, you want to fight like hell to save them from a broken home. You do the pick-me dance like Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, and your abusing cheater relishes in it. IT SUCKS.

    Tracy, for the next edition of your book, don’t put a woman on the cover. I’ll admit that when I first saw your book at Barnes & Noble, and searching for an answer to my prayers, I was off-put by the silhouette of a woman on the cover. I thought “oh, great, another book written for women about male cheaters”. Of course, my first impression was wrong.

    Thanks to Tracy for saving my sanity. She answered my letter last month in which I told her about my wife’s decision to have an affair with the mother of one of our daughter’s friends. Tracy’s response, along with Tracy’s excellent book, are the best advice I received in this horrible situation. I’m moving on with my life, and a court filing will happen very soon.

    • BeardBoy – I read that post and I am so very glad that you are moving on and I have my fingers crossed that the divorce will be as smooth and painless for you as possible. If you are still gutted when it ends, it’s because you were totally invested in the marriage. You didn’t phone it in.

      Best wishes now and in the future.

      • Thank you!

        About a month ago, I was pained at making the most difficult decision of my life. Now, I realize that there really isn’t any other decision to make. Thanks to Tracy, her book, and you wonderful people at Chump Nation (yeah!) for helping me through. I don’t know any of you, but I wish I could buy y’all a drink.

  • I just want to say I support the male chumps wholeheartedly, and I am grateful to be reminded by CL the ways in which they suffer that are different from mine. Please talk to us! We’re all hurting, and we need your perspective and stories every bit as much as the female chumps point of view. We all partnered up with people who suck first and foremost, whatever their gender is. ❤️

  • Let’s be honest man or woman, gay or straight, when you get betrayed and played like this as see your whole planned future blow up in front of you, see less of your kids, almost definitely end up worse off financially in some regard, treated like you have some kind of disease by certain friends it is all one massive shit sandwich from hell. Even when you are doing the right thing and beat by your kids if you have them or trying to be ‘fair’. Everyone is so blasé about divorce these days I find, oh it happens, no big deal, move along now everyone does. And I just listen to all these stories and think man or woman how can anyone minimise the incredible turmoil this causes. It’s a hot mess and that’s why it shouldn’t be swept under the carpet or minimised as no big deal. God knows what the answer is though because it seems to be a god given right to lie and cheat your loved ones these days.

  • Oh, I’ve got another one to the list:
    7.) Domestic violence happens to men too. If your partner is physically violent to you – who is going to believe you? If your wife starts a fight, and there are no witnesses – who will be assumed to be perpetrator?

    Undoubtedly in the majority of domestic violence it is a man who is beating his wife. But that doesn’t mean that men cannot be abused. Unfortunately, when a man is the subject of abuse, he somehow “earned it”, to make up for all the cases when men are beating women. It can also be perceived as funny, in the same way as the cuckold does.

    My XW did only get violent twice during the divorce, but the overwhelming feeling was “how do I protect myself against false accusations”? I immediately installed a recording app on my phone to be able to record any further incidents. And I doubt that I would still have custody of my kids if the the roles were reversed.

    • You are right about that. Most people either don’t believe it or laugh at it. Where’s a guy supposed to go to get the support and sympathy he needs? Well, you can get it here. Your wife sucks and it’s nothing to laugh at. I am glad you found a way to protect yourself from false accusations. That is another issue men have to face whether they are personally being physically abused or not. It’s just another form of mental and emotional abuse.

    • Actually, in most jurisdictions, if a parent of either gender wants 50% custody, they’ll get it, EVEN WHEN they’ve been PROVEN to be physically abusive to the other parent, even in front of the kids. It’s violence against the kids that weighs in custody decisions.

      Obviously this is completely crazy; how scared will the kids be of that violent parent’s temper, even if it hasn’t (yet) been directed against them? And that custody default is starting to change. But still, craziness ….

  • Well I for one have no trouble at all believing that some women are just evil. Schmoopie’s a woman after all. she was perfectly happy to fuck somebody else’s husband and tear families apart. Mine and hers. She was also married with five children whose lives also got upended. Of course she had to fight for full custody in order to maximize child support and alimony (I can’t work I have to look after the children) from her ex. That also makes it easier to alienate the kids from their dad.

  • My grandfather’s ghost speaking.
    In the end I was done in by my narcissistic wife. My heart could not take it. My youngest son sucked hollow by her, he, made into a maker of money at all costs -all costs, I say- and nothing else. Her covert injunction: that this sone provide for the extended family, but not for his wife and girls. The grande covert queen bee enthroned deemed them not of the tribe. My dear daughter in law, of a foreign land, and my dear sweet girls. Left to the fury of the elements.
    Elements?
    The grande covert mistress, the image of the revolting mother. Her girls to replace my dear ones.
    The extended family’s greed. They tore from each side to get their bits like hounds on a carcass.
    My dear daughter in law and the sweet girls left with nothing.
    Nothing.
    I died. I left this world.
    The family curse provides no respite.
    One of my dear girls thought she had found safety. Instead, a man who promised a life in a foreign land, and then sacrificed her for the sake of his own tribe.
    My dear girls are still alive. So the mother.
    But greatly in danger. Hanging on for dear life.
    No progeny there. The curse has found an end.
    But at what price?

  • I wish more men would be open- I think it would help to change the laws to make adultery more painful in court. You shouldn’t have to pay alimony to someone who cheated on you. Child support I understand but her ass better go back to work at full capacity to pay her share – if she had time to screw around she has time to work a full time job. I told the OBS about a week after he had signed divorced papers- he was so mad that he thought they had just drifted apart and gave her alimony and the house—— he was shocked and pissed when I informed him of the 5 year affair his wife had been having with my husband. I really wish I had reached out to him right away!!! We probably could have joined forces with out divorce negotiations!

    Pain is pain no matter what gender!

  • I (a woman) am gonna add to the comments just to add to the comments. Men. I’m sorry. That sucks. No words. (But I’ll write anyway). Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be married to someone with a FRACTION of the character and devotion you demonstrate. Love is not about how one feels, it is about what one DOES. And you have been men of honor, and do not deserve this betrayal.

    • Now that a significant number of women are getting pinched by alimony and their worthless cheating husbands are living high on the hog while they work things will change.

  • I won’t go into the long terrible story but this website (and the book) SAVED MY LIFE and not once did I feel not included.. Tracy has that snarky little side note or parentheses for guys here. I loved this article and haven’t written a comment until today because she hit the nail so hard upon the head. The AP getting my child support? Check! Losing 50% of my time with my babies? Check! This is such a well written article, and while I could certainly write a book, this surmises it. I love you CN… commenters, non-commenting readers… this place is amazing and THANK YOU for acknowledging the men out there. Oh BTW it’s been a year and I got physically fit, went to concerts, found Yoga and made 100 new friends. I cannot believe I’m saying this but I’m better off! Thank you Chump Lady!!!!

  • I’m a chump.

    In February 2010 I discovered that my now ex-wife had been having an affair with her former boss. She initially claimed an emotional, non-sexual, affair that had been going on for about three months. In reality it had been a full-on ‘all the bells and whistles’ affair then stretching for nearly four-years.

    Post-discovery, what ensued was a heated battle of cognitive dissonance. On one side was the ‘Reconciliation Industrial Complex’, bolstered by her claimed burning desire to ‘fix’ our marriage, the fact that I had loved her greatly, and that I mistakenly bought into the narrative that I should give her another chance and try to avoid a ‘broken’ home for our kids. On the other side was the quiet voice in my head endlessly repeating, “This isn’t right. This isn’t love. You can never trust her again. You deserve better.” Eventually, after nearly a year trying to square these two narratives (and filled with additional lies, obfuscations, and disordered behavior) I was able to kick-start my own ‘quest for mighty,’ finally admit I’d had enough and separate/divorce. Better late than never.

    Married for 11 years at time of D-Day. Discovered ex-wife’s 4-year infidelity when my daughter was 15 months old. So, yeah, there aren’t many ways you’re going to avoid Tracy’s #1 item of what uniquely sucks about being a guy chump.

    Taking my daughter for paternity testing was one of my first actions. Indeed, I made my willingness to ‘work on the marriage’ conditional on the results. My XW tried to assuage my concerns,

    XW: “We [her and affair partner] never had sex.”

    SP: “I don’t believe you.”

    XW: “Even so, he [affair partner] had a vasectomy, so there’s no way she’s not yours.”

    [Spinozapixel bangs head against wall for next hour]

    People have asked me, “What would you have done if she wasn’t yours?” Honestly – I don’t know. Probably more legal costs as I sought to protect the relationship….but, well, 99.999999% probability score on the test results put that particular horror to bed.

    I’m not proud of ‘working on it’ for the next year; a colossal waste of time, resources, and energy. And because the common personality types that seem to go in for affairs also seem incapable of NOT lying or continuing to manipulate things, what that year did was just give opportunity to waste thousands of dollars on marriage counselling while the truth about the life that had been running parallel to mind dribbled out as slowly as she could manage.

    I kind of ‘blame’ my father for why I stayed in the marriage for another year – eating that shit sandwich – for the sake of my family. He’s the model for my ideal of relationships and marriage…he’s loved exactly one woman in his life (Hi Mom!), since meeting her at age sixteen. They’ve just celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary. When I asked him early after D-Day what he would do, his response – spectacularly wrong – but also offered with the best of intentions, was that, “He would try to bury his pain and love his wife.”

    And yes, this very thing served him well in the worst challenges of their marriage – the death of my sister as child – but the great difference, which I could not see at the time, was that in that case they shared their pain; in my case, my pain was caused by my XW…who had a vested interest in downplaying/minimizing that pain.

    Anyway, while I’m not proud of sticking it out for that first post-D-Day year, I am proud of how I worked out the ‘uncoupling’. I wasn’t very ‘mighty’ as Tracy would put it in year one, but I think I made up for it. Stepping through her points 2-through-6 of what sucks about being a guy chump:

    #2: Everyone assumes you suck,
    #3: Men don’t talk about it

    I kind of feel these can be worked on together. I’d kept things fairly quiet during that year of ‘working on it’. Can count the people beyond our immediate families who knew what had happened on one hand. However, once things were called off, I sang like a bird.

    I was the one who told most of our mutual friends what had happened and, given that I’d had a year of the story changing/more coming out/getting worse, I had a lot of material to share and work with.

    End result, I kept 90+% of the friends circle. Indeed, her former best friend, after trying to play Switzerland for a few months (her husband and I are buddies – indeed, they were on the short list of ‘those who knew’ during that post-D-Day ‘year of hell’), basically snapped on her, chastising her for her behaviour (both during my marriage, and for some stuff she’d pulled after we called things off), telling her, “You’ve destroyed your family and crushed your husband…for nothing.”

    She’s not had anything to do with my ex- since. We remain good friends to this day – I’ve thanked her (them) to her (their) face(s). She basically waved it away, saying, “That shit wasn’t right.”

    I truly believe that if men DO talk about it, the number of folk assuming you suck drastically falls. Most people are horrified by my story; few think you suck when they feel horror on your behalf (and those that do…likely her immediate family members) are the ones who you’re not the first line of communication with. Plus, you probably don’t want them around anymore anyway.

    #4: “Cuck”

    I’m 6 ft and 215 lbs and in not poor shape. Go ahead and call me a cuck to my face. I’ll probably laugh in yours….but I might not. You probably won’t like it if I don’t.

    #5: Custody

    Probably because I’d seen other friends/colleagues go through this type of horror, where they got ‘every other weekend’, I went into the separation process with some absolutes (more on this in a moment).

    First, I was accepting NO LESS than 50% of my kids’ (then 6 and 2). We could start from there. I would happily take them full time, giving her every other weekend if she’d like.

    I have ‘official’ legal custody of just over 50% of my kids’ time (every other week, plus every Sunday from January-to-April regardless of normal custody schedule). Unofficially, I have my kids (now 14 and 10) more than two thirds of the time as a result of school and activity scheduling (not to mention I work at home, while she has a 1-hr commute), with the result that even during ‘her’ custody time, I see them minimum five days out of seven.

    #6 Child Support and Alimony to ex and affair partner:

    Here’s ‘Absolute #2’. I went into mediation with the stance that I would not pay one red cent to my ex- in the form of alimony. Not one penny. I told her I’d happily take her to court and fight this particular point with every penny we’d accumulated by then….and I might lose, but it’s the hill I was absolutely going to die on.

    Told her up-front.

    She believed me.

    Our separation agreement was so-written. Not one penny in alimony. No mechanism for a ‘do-over’ in future if our fortunes diverged. Her lawyer was initial author, so no ability for her to claim that my legal representation had put in something she was unclear on or bullied into signing.

    I made more money than her, both then and now. At the time, the ratio of my earnings to hers was about 1.4x.

    Today it’s about 2.5x.

    So that’s worked out.

    I do pay child support (for those kids who are in my care most of the time), and that’s fine (though I do get annoyed writing the cheque every month). And it has gone up as the salary disparity has widened. That too is fine. It’s just money. My kids today are happy and secure. They know they’re loved and supported in all things. That’s worth far more than money.

    And the ex-‘s affair partner was nowhere to be seen after discovery. He too was married – indeed, his second marriage (he’d married the woman with whom he’d cheated on his first wife), and, I presume, after that experience had drained his resources, was scared this was going to happen again…plus, he probably wasn’t terribly down with having small children around again after his kids, who were 21 and 16 at the time, were predominantly raised by wife #1.

    So, no money going to support affair partner. That’s good, if somewhat uncontrollable fate.

    Returning to the beginning – I am a chump. I believe in commitment and family. And I got screwed over.

    But here’s the punchline…

    …that whole ‘Leave a cheater, gain a life thing?’

    It works.

    Today I have a fantastic, wonderful, loving, smart, (beautiful, sexy, hard-working, quirky, nerdy, fun…) new partner who loves and defends my kids as her own (she has no biological children). We’ve been together for nearly seven years, recently bought our dream house, are busy planning OUR future adventures, and agree on practically all major issues concerning life: money, religion, politics, who prefers to do the cooking (me) and who prefers to do the washing up (her).

    She completely understands the ‘chump’ phenomenon. Indeed, I don’t frequent ChumpLady all that often anymore, but she was reading this morning and texted me, “FYI, today’s Chumplady is for you.”

    As is often the case, she was right. Thanks Tracy for all you do, and particularly for today’s column.

  • Another chomped man right here. I comment every once in a while. I suggest your book somewhere almost daily. I am about 7 months out from d-day. Divorce is on its path and soon I will be free of my narcissistic cheating woman. I call her Starbucks because STBXW.

  • Ok, well, I can certainly attest to these things.
    Even though I was married to a serial cheater (I found out only on AP #3+), I never did paternity testing. The kids look just like me, down to the almond-shaped eyes and strange hair color. It has occasionally kept me up at night; what if they’re not mine?
    You’d be amazed how many people assume that *I* was the one who was in the wrong, or worse, did the cheating. I get dirty looks whenever I walk into my daughter’s dance class, the community pool, etc.
    And no… they’re just isn’t a good support network for guys in my position. Some days on the forum here I feel like I’m the only man on here.
    And yes, the custody and child support arrangement is horrible. I fought my way into 50/50 custody, but I still have to pay my ex about 20% of my after-tax pay in child support. She still gets to claim the kids unequally on her taxes, so I lose that deduction that I pay dearly for. The support – which just goes into her pocket – is not counted as income for her, or a payment for me.
    Like many dads, I worked hard at a stressful job I loathed in order for my wife to work part time, or stay at home full-time. I did it for the good of us all as a family. Now, the court tells me I had better keep working at that same place, in order to funnel money to her, while she can maintain her less-work lifestyle even though the kids are older*. Meanwhile, she now has a guy moving in with her, so I basically continue to support her and him now.
    Last year, the kids and I priced out a really nice vacation, but in the end we didn’t take it as it was too expensive (about $6000). Well, my ex then took them on that exact same trip (same week, same cruise line). You could say I paid for it, I just didn’t get to go.

    *I’m sure someone will argue politics with me, but that statistic that says women make 60% as much as men doesn’t compare people doing the same jobs. It’s just everybody in aggregate. It doesn’t take into account the fact that women work part-time/less hours then men, or tend to avoid dangerous jobs. That statistic is quite misleading, and useless for analysis. The statistic people should be interested in is whether men and women make the same money given the same job and same qualifications.

    • “Now, the court tells me I had better keep working at that same place, in order to funnel money to her, while she can maintain her less-work lifestyle even though the kids are older*. Meanwhile, she now has a guy moving in with her, so I basically continue to support her and him now.”

      UGH – that is INSANE. Even if he was a boarder, that would be income she would have to declare or she could fall afoul of the IRS and wouldn’t it affect how much you would be soaked for in child support? Is there any way to prove they live together as partners and therefore your bill should be reduced? I truly don’t know, that’s why I’m asking. So unfair!

      “The statistic people should be interested in is whether men and women make the same money given the same job and same qualifications.”

      I agree but when you look through the data, it is not right that despite male nurses being vastly outnumbered by female nurses, women still don’t achieve pay parity. They compare apples to apples – employed full-time. BLS takes it seriously.

      Example:

      Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers, by detailed occupation, 2017 annual averages [Numbers in thousands]

      Registered nurses
      2,536 (total number of workers in thousands)
      $1,150 (total median weekly salary)
      $10 (standard error of median)
      2,253 (Women: number of workers in thousands)
      1,143 (Women: median weekly salary)
      $9 (Women: standard error of median)
      283 (Men: number of workers in thousands)
      $1,260 (Men: median weekly salary)
      $69 (Men: standard error of median)
      90.7% (Women’s earnings as a percentage of men’s) 2017
      https://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/womens-earnings/2017/home.htm

      Which is fairly crazy.

      There are jobs that don’t require heavy lifting, so I’m still shocked to see the wage disparities.

      But yeah – you got screwed and that ain’t right!

  • What I can really say at this point is that I am concentrating on the Gain A Life part. Whoreclops is out of my life and we have only financial ties for a few more years, so I am moving on. To me, that is the best thing that I can say, I am moving on to a far better life than what I had previously. That is what matters.

    It is important for the men who go through this to reach out and create a support network, one will not be created for you. You are going to feel like the world is against you – people will think that you are the abuser, the culprit. People will believe what the person who abused you wants them to believe. I chose to let all of that go, people may believe what they wish – I just don’t care. Create your support network and be doggedly determined to get through the this process – tears and all as they must flow. You will anger, rage, cry and at times, become a blank rock, each of these is OK. Get through them with your eyes on the prize – a better life. With a ton of gratitude for everyone on this site, I can say:

    A big hello from The Land of Sky Blue Waters and I am gaining a life!

    • Whoreclops!!! Hahaa!
      BSOD, always enjoy your posts and love how confident and grounded you sound. Best vibes to you for yr cheater-free life!

  • I call this the Nutshell…..hope its not too harsh for this forum. Its a work in progress……..

    When I learned enough to know that she was a bitch from hell, I stopped looking. Between her reaction and what I found, she completely slipped into a cold, cruel cunt and I never saw the “wife” again. I knew enough to figure out what happened in the moments that had passed, and I didn’t need to know more. She had deceived me, she blame shifted and gaslighted enough that I thought I was one that had serious issues. The whole time I was trying to be better, she was out fucking around. The fact that she let me think that she was working on our marriage while banging other people is a hurt that I will never get over.

    After that, I dropped her fuckedupness and never picked it up again. She hurt me, she is a whore with ice water running through her veins. That’s all I needed to mentally push myself away from her.

    That was the real her- mask ripped off. My pain, life changing and excruciating, did not register to her. She did not care at all.

    It is horrifying to me to realize she didn’t love me. Upon abandonment my X, pure evil, said that she never, ever loved me (24 years married). It made me feel so worthless, so pointless, and frankly suicidal. I blamed myself right along with her blaming me for the failed marriage, my failure.
    I have come to realize that it is 100% on her.
    The fact that she stood in front of God and family and declared undying love that she didn’t really mean to declare, that she had children and a home and an objectively wonderful life with me that she really didn’t mean to have–that she pissed away 26 years total with me on her CONFUSION– all of that is on her. Who does that? Who spends their life with someone who means nothing to them, and lies to the person they don’t love every single day that they stay in their horribly unsatisfying marriages while screwing around?
    FUCKING DISORDERED TWATS, THAT IS WHO.
    The fact she lived a lie is not my fault. I was real. I lived and loved fully. I am not to blame for her disorder

    • Hey! I wrote that!

      I am honored you clipped and saved the exact comment (starting from “It is horrifying…” to the end, just with gender changes and year differences and no mention of a shoebox of love letters. Plus mine is an asshat rather than a twat).

      I remember that being a cathartic sentiment.

      I have often clipped out comments from others on this forum and put them in my journal as well as everything I have ever posted. I want my adult daughters to read it all one day.

      hugs to you

  • I’d just like to encourage all male chumps out there to contribute. The process of saying your piece is cathartic. This shit is tough for everyone but it is nice to have a few male voices on the boards.

    My story is typical. Three kids, the ex wanted to pursue her happiness, I moved out (mistake – I should have kicked the bitch out but was being lied to) paid her out an enormous amount and supported her in our family home not working for a year before my youngest started school. Trickle truthed the cheating/her pregnancy/abortion with the OM. Then she refused to work so I had my kids 50%, was paying child support, paying for a nanny, she moved in with the OM and was taking child support, told all the teachers and parents at my kids school that I’d abused her. Quality woman that one.

    My words of advice: Anger is your friend. Too often these days anger is seen as a negative male trait. Anger is useful and motivating, don’t be afraid of it. Don’t do stupid shit with it either but it needs a healthy outlet. God knows you have a right to feel the righteous rage.

  • Proud male chump here…together 22 years, married 15 years, 2 wonderful kids…

    but it turns out she was sucking many dicks and stealing our money to do it.

    Kids soccer & baseball games are “boring”

    but fucking dudes in cheap motel rooms was her “only joy in life.”

    She had denied it for years, and as I closed in on her she increased her emotional abuse of us all in a failed attempt to make me give up & leave before i found about her affairs & financial dishonesty.

    But it failed: I busted her, boxed up her stuff and moved her out a week later.

    I was extremely lucky in that by the time i had positive confirmation of her physical infidelity

    she had revealed herself to be an angry, abusive thief

    whose only goal was to avoid detection

    so she could she shift the blame for her Poor Life Choices onto me

    So after I moved her out

    (and WITH the help of this site, where i have ALWAYS felt 100% welcome because while everyone here can self-identify as men/women, straight/gay, black/white…we are all Mighty Chumps FIRST)

    …i did what is maybe less common for Male Chumps:

    I told EVERYONE

    made a list, made a plan and then got coffee/lunch with everyone who matters in our world and I didn’t leave anything out…

    from her sex toys, to the old guys she fucked for money, all the down to the bag of Viagra and her texting her slut friend for advice on stopping rectal bleeding from having taken in it the ass (tampons can be somewhat effective)

    i laid it ALL out there…not dissimilar to telling a friend about a crazy vacation your wife didn’t make it back from because she was behind a dumpster sucking guys off while the rest of us flew home

    …was it fun? no, it was awful

    i got better at as i went, but it still sucked, telling people you’ve known for years that your wife loves referring to herself as “your nasty fucktoy” in texts to MULTIPLE MEN

    is not how you draw it up when saying the vow to “forsake all others”

    but BOY was it a good idea…because by the time she got unpacked at her new place

    started trying to tell folks “i don’t know what happened…we just drifted apart”

    she ran into a buzzsaw of angry women who make Good Life Choices

    saying stuff like:

    “huh, really? because i heard you like getting your ass reamed while Mr. Chump takes the boys to soccer and dentist appointments and the book fair….”

    and while i’ve had some success with my online dating app, i can ASSURE you that the system producing the most good leads in terms of New Relationships…is that very group of peers with whom i had the

    tim ferriss said it best: “the people who are the most successful in life are the ones willing to have the greatest number of uncomfortable conversations”

    don’t be ashamed, Fellow Male Chumps! (and Female Chumps!)

    rather, USE your own courage to smash through shame and tell EVERYone you known

    burn her (or him) to the ground

    & then watch honesty and love emerge from her disgusting ashes

    remember: they are the ones who are TRULY ashamed

    that’s why they lied to us Chumps for years

    ride that shame like a wave to better day!

  • It’s good to read these stories, I needed to see something like this today.

    One other aspect of the paternity thing is a man may end up paying child support for a child that isn’t his. I honestly can’t even fathom the fuckery that involves.

    • The laws DESPERATELY need to be changed on that point. The only other alternative would be DNA testing every child and presumed parents, and not filing a birth certificate until the results are back.

  • Finding this site and reading the book saved my sanity after discovering that my “loving” xw of 15 years of marriage and 2 kids 12 and 14 years old, was cheating with a fuckbuddy at work, who in her words was “just a distraction from her ‘primary’ relationship.”

    CL and CN eased somewhat the pain and brought a lot clarity and insight in to what xw did.
    It helped cut short my “pick me” dance, excepting her blaming me for what happened and enabled me to master the energy, even though I was in total shock and devastated after the discovery, to push forward with the divorce.

    I am very grateful to this site and Tracy for bringing light in to a complete darkness I found myself in.

    Been reading for two years now and yes, not commenting enough is my fault.

    I feel there are double standards in the courts, the society at large and even on this site toward men.

    Took care of my children’s physical and emotional needs since they were born. For 14 years no one questioned my ability as a parent and a father.

    Suddenly when divorced had to fight in court and to go an extra mile to prove to everybody that a man is not just some helpless block who cannot take care of his kids, but can be as much as a caring, loving and fully capable parent to his kids, much more so than their selfish, lying mother.

    My xw took a full advantage of the double standards and had no problem manipulating the judge and everybody else around us to portrait her self as a victim and me as a villain.

    She sure didn’t think or cared about the kids when she was sneaking in to a cheap hotel rooms to have sex with her ho-worker while married. Why people think that she will turn in to this completely devoted mother, as soon as she gets a divorce?

    Like Tracy says in her book, cheating is a character (or lack of it) and not circumstantial, betrayal is a decision process and not a mistake. It involves a totally selfish person at best and a full blown narcists at worst.

    So, like a cheating husband doesn’t turn in to a great father after divorce, the wife who cheated doesn’t turn suddenly in to this great and dedicated mother whose only priorities are her children and not selfish herself, thrilling seeker who wants to feel “alive” by fucking whoever pays her a compliment and showring her with kibbles.

    And yes, to add insult to injury, it hurts like hell in addition to loosing a family to loose half of what you worked for all this years and yes, it hurts like hell to write a check every month to a fuckwit who betrayed your trust, hurt you and your kids.

    She broke our marriage contract, she broke all her promises and obligations that came with it and yet there were no penalties imposed on her like it would be in any other legal contract, not for financial and not for emotional damages she inflicted on us. There was no price for her to pay for the theft of our reality as a family.

    I can hear the voices in the background : ” but you suppose to support the kids” and that is again the double standard kicks in, because everybody assumes that a selfish, self-centered, liar and a cheater will use your money for the sake of the kids and not to indulge her own needs just because she is a woman. This is not a movie; this is the reality.

    If any woman on this site believes that only cheating men are despicable, cruel, lying lowlifes that said and did all these awful things to them, I can attest to the fact that my xw repeated verbatim the same things as their xhs. Her blame shifting, ghosting and discard were exactly the same as women’s cheating xhs on this site.

    • Yup. Sorry man right there with you. I’m stuck trying to find out WHY? Not why did my selfish wife cheat, that’s easy. WHY on earth did this happen to me? What is the purpose?

      • Mac, there are many bad things in life that don’t have a purpose. But we can learn from them anyway, grow past them anyway. Enrich our lives after them, anyway.

      • Mac, I don’t know if this will help you but it has really helped me. I learned years ago to never go down the “why me?” path. There usually aren’t any good answers so it’s very easy to get stuck.

        (Can’t give credit for this idea because I can’t remember where I learned it). When “why me?” comes into your head, you might try and train yourself to shift immediately to a better question: “why not me?”

        The answer: Because we don’t get out of this life without troubles. Shit happens. To good people. All the time. Some people live in Syria and have bombs dropping on their neighborhood, or maybe even on their house. Some people in the Democratic Republic of Congo get Ebola. They don’t deserve any of it. We don’t deserve being cheated on. If crappy things can happen to anyone, why should we be special?

        I find I don’t get stuck on “why not me?” I think it makes me feel less singled out. It could have been me or my very sweet next door neighbor, so why not me? Hope this helps.

          • Same. I tell myself that good people get hit by buses. Or get terminal cancer. Or get cancer and are THEN chumped.

            Its all a roll of the dice. A few percent of men and women are sneaky, evil sociopathic users. I married and had two kids with one of them. I rolled Snake Eyes, a one in 36 chance.

            Even without my FOO and bad picker, it could’ve happened anyway. As it was, I think I was a BAD prey. I pushed back. I made my needs small, but never down to zero. I allowed myself to be manipulated, but I am a successful human nonetheless.

            And I am not going quietly into the night, I am getting my truth, and my share. And I suspect she regrets choosing someone as strong as me at this point.

    • Yep! I’ve read CL from start to present, and all of the comments. I do so because, despite the fact that much of the content relates to cheating males/husbands, the fact is that cheating women/wives are exactly the same.
      PS – Thank you, CL and CN! You’ve been a valuable resource in my ongoing recovery process and continued search for the land of MEH.

  • Thank you, Mr. Chump, because, somehow the type of words you used seem to have been able to de-chump me further.
    In my case it was a group thing. The years-long assault came from grande covert grandmother+female cousin+father’s mistress, a constant covert assault to have me trafficked.
    Sister saved herself by “becoming a nun”.
    I sought refuge in my marriage. I thought I found safety at last. It was not to be. Abandoned.
    My divorce came through.

  • Reading through the comments, I realize I am “lucky” to some extent: I have 50% custody, my XW paid me spousal support and she pays a relatively small amount of child support as she outearned me 2/1 over the course of our marriage. But boy, am I damaged emotionally.

    • David2016,

      I’m not far off from your situation. I may not have had as much grief financially as others, but when the person (woman in my case) you loved sincerely and deeply just casts you aside for another, my God does that hurt. Better yet, she does it when you’re at the lowest point in your life.

      At least I was able to realize (almost immediately!) that this was NOT all my fault. I told her that, w/in a week of D-day. I said to her that, unlike my depression, which stemmed from me not being able to handle my high-paying job anymore (w/out having a nervous breakdown) and feeling like I wasn’t supporting her and the family in general as well as I used to (which continually fed my depression), THIS was as much her as it was me (now I know it’s much MORE her than me).

      I told her that her treacherous actions were already kicking me out of my depression, and that I was going to use it to galvanize my efforts to get better mentally, emotionally, and physically. I don’t think she enjoyed hearing me say that, but as they say, TOUGH SHIT.

      I hope you’re like me, working on meh and chugging along until Tuesday comes. Best wishes to you, and to all the male chumps out there like us. Ok, to all the chumps PERIOD. We’re worth a hell of a lot more than our FW spouses ever thought.

  • Reading all of today’s post has enlightened me. I hope it has also helped me become even more compassionate. What all of us have endured and lived through is beyond awful. That we survived it is amazing.

    Shout out to all of the good guys, the sane parents, the faithful ones. The cheaters NEVER deserved you.

  • I recently went to a conference on the east coast with my boss. He knew my XH because X worked where we work once upon a time. Until he fucked the ugly librarian and they slunk out of town. Anyhoo over dinner one night my boss said ‘Chumptopia, I feel that you still have a lot of energy/anger over this man.’ You know, like WTF, get OVER it. I told him that some things you never get over. People who have never been chumped have NO idea what it feels like.

    • There are some people you can NEVER talk to about what happened. Just re-wounds us and puts us at risk.

    • At the end of the Lord of the Rings, Frodo says something that all of us can relate to:

      “How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand… there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep, that have taken hold.”

      My Dday and Divorce along with all that my Ex put me through for years is a wound that will never totally heal. I’ve learned to live with it and move on with my life but that wound will always be there.

      • ^^This! Also reminds me to take back my favorite trilogy of all time for myself. That stupid a-hole even used my love of LOTR to shame me at one point during devaluation. So thank you @laughing gator for reminding me. I’ve been taking lots of things back he ruined for me and the kids (including the drive in movies last weekend). This will be next, too bad I didn’t grab those Blu-ray’s on the way out

  • The only way to fix the divorce system is to take it away from the government. The government always uses one size fits all and they don’t want to judge morality. Maybe some sort of arbitration committee could weigh the facts/evidence of both parties. Especially when children and custody is involved.

  • This is my first post, I have been a lurker since 2015. I picked my screen name because as much as I didn’t like them I apparently couldn’t get enough shit sandwiches, and my XW hated when I used the term to describe what she was doing to me. My first Dday was in 2013 after 5 years of marriage and 11 years together, my divorce was final in March of 2016. Chump lady has been my daily support and the stories and lessons to be learned have guided me to where I am today.

    First, I’d like to say being a chump sucks no matter what your sex or orientation or situation. My XW created a narrative that I was controlling and verbally and emotionally abusive, a number of people have believed her and I feel that it was easier for them to believe her because it is stereotypically masculine to be abusive. To add insult to injury, later I found out that she was into being controlled and abused sexually by Old Balls, (her primary affair partner who is 17 years older than her) and that she stopped breast feeding our son to breast feed her affair partner instead. I had a hard time understanding it until learning more about projection and DARVO here. It doesnt help that XW works at a University (I don’t)and we live in a university town where people think they are enlightened like Esther Perel and believe Eat, Pray, Love bullshit. Even now, people sometimes assume that I cheated because my girlfriend is younger than me and we work together (I was shocked when she asked me out)

    Also, as a Male chump it was difficult to read most RIC books and dealing with a narcissist books, because most of the pronouns and messages are geared for women. Chump lady was one of the few sites and authors that really made an effort to include everyone.

    During the Divorce my attorney told me that unless my XW was a drug addict/criminal there was no way I was going to get more than 50/50 as a father even if i did the majority of child care and home care. I had changed my job and moved to another state for my XW so I could take care of my son 70 percent of the time while she worked and advanced her career and to be closer to her family. My XW was always worried that I would die and she would be hard up financially so we started saving early in our relationship (before getting married) and she had full control of the money (she had her own bank accounts and control of our joint account). In hindsight I can see now that she was making an exit plan and it worked when she walked away with almost 6 figures more than me in the divorce.

    Early on in my journey I emailed Tracy, and her response was empowering. I was looking to untangle my skein, and her response was perfect, she acknowledged my question but she told me to leave my cheater and gain a life.
    Thank you to Chump lady and everyone that has commented through the years. The experiences, thoughts, and lessons have been invaluable to me.

  • My wife said his cock was bigger than mine. She said I’m not a real man because I work in an office. Her friends looked at me like the scum of the earth at a birthday party. She said get over it you f*#%ing p#**y.
    My mistake was falling for this psycho. Overlooked obvious red flags in the name of lust. I had such a blessed life before I got played by this selfish a$$h0)3. Other than family and close friends, nobody gives a shit. It’s just a forgone conclusion that I’m an abusive monster at worst and weak in the sack at best.
    Guess it’s just my turn to go through something shitty but good grief this is hell on earth.

    • Sorry you got that cruel abuse. Other chumps (CN) get it and care. Cheaters opinions are as worthless as their promises. Know your own truth. IMHO people with integrity and kindness are worth their weight in gold.

    • Yep, sorry too you had that humiliation and abuse from her; however thanks for posting @Mac1234 as it reminded me of similar from STBXW just after D-Day and I guess other male chumps have had the same.

      I was told that OM is taller and more muscular than me. I also got told that “I’m not a real man” (exact words too!) because I did/do most of the parenting of our children (whereas she would invariably have a near-death-migraine should she ever have to spend a whole day with them). From so much spying I can state too that these abusers love to belittle us and play the victim with everyone they can.

      Ignored obvious red flags as you put it “in the name of lust”. I think many of us can attest to that.

      2 years down the line I’m finally getting my own place and getting free (Grey Rock has been my mantra during that period). But yes I too look back at the period around D-Day and I was a complete mess for months. I’ve read that many male chumps have lost their business because they were so devastated and unable to function or have even taken their own lives because of infidelity.

      What you’re describing @Mac1234 is the emotional & psychological abuse that can batter us down for years.

  • Male chumps, ya’ll are worthy and DID NOT deserve to be chumped. As much as any woman doesn’t deserve it either. All this brings up so much for me to think about. I’m of Hispanic culture, so many things that I go thru now isn’t discussed or isn’t a “big deal”. Like…you don’t leave just because someone cheated or treats you bad. Hey if they aren’t hitting you, and provide, what are you complaining about? Also mental health.,.ha forget it!! So I’m very fortunate to have a good circle of friends to text with because my family is not the one for these types of things. For my region and culture, it’s more of a “I didn’t try hard enough/something must be wrong with me/I couldn’t keep my partner” stigma for chumped regardless of gender.

    I have two sons. Our culture is very much macho. I pray they aren’t in my situation anyways, but even more so because hearing all you men and what you’ve had to deal with. Makes me want to clutch my boys at home forever LOL JK Even the things I teach them about empathy, self love, etc. are not valued by those around us. But I will continue to teach them what I wished I wouldn’t known more of. I do fear though, especially now with their father being the way he is and possibly being absent now, that it’ll get twisted that I’m trying to make them “sissy”.

    I don’t know what it must feel like male chumps, but we DO support you and thank you for showing me that not all men are like my STBXH.

  • I confided in my xbest friend I suspected she was having an affair after finding all the wax strips in the bin with enough hair to make a door mat. Told him to keep it to himself. He immediately went to her work and asked her, then reported back there is no way she is, she hasn’t got time for an affair, it was just to make her feel better about herself!… mum of 5.

    • That’s fucked up. Glad he’s now your ex-best friend. Best wishes to you in your struggle. Sending lots of empathy your way.

  • After d-day and “ILYIJNILWY” I contacted the male chump on the other side: my cheater’s other woman’s chumps husband. We had coffee. We spoke for two hours. (Everyone said we should have sex but life is not like the movies.) We didn’t even particularly hit it off or like each other but we listened to each other for ages. It was pretty awful. We were both downtrodden, exhausted, people who had invested so much for so many years in keeping our cheaters happy. It wasn’t just the cheating that made us look miserable: it was the years of mindfuck. When I looked at him I saw someone who had been through what I had been though. Sometime who had his heart in the right place and who had been cheated, plain and simple, out of the best years of his life. We haven’t spoken since that day: I went no contact with the cheaters and he went new-age fake friends with them (and then moved interstate with one of the kids)

    That day I realised that all chumps are equals, whether they’re male or female or gay or straight. We have something in common: we were invested and we were cheated. We worked hard for the relationship long after the cheater had checked out. We carried more than our weight and our reward was having to witness two grown ups being sickeningly enthralled with each other (and to hell with the four kids who have to now deal with this shit storm). My counterpart chump was the one consoling his kids after the affair and he had to watch my ex take over his spot in his marital home. The male chump was the one who had been washing the cars that are now dirty since my ex has started driving them. He was the one maintaining the house and garden that my ex has now let go. I fought like tooth and nail for my kids and house. This guy just let them have it.

    Male chumps: I see you. It’s fucked.

  • Add me to the list of male chumps who walked this hellish highway: vilified to friends and in-laws as a controlling killjoy who drove her to seek solace with other men, false reconciliation that almost killed me, STD and paternity testing after 25 years of faithful monogamy, loss of 50% of my time with my children, and half of everything earned over a quarter century, seeing my youngest son bribed with false promises of luxury into a move 2,000 miles a away (the courts do what the child wants at a certain age), then having to pay my cheating ex tens of thousands of dollars in child support to pay for the luurv shack my cheater ex wife set up with her affair partner and my child—while my son’s needs went unmet.

    It’s not a pain Olympics, and male and female chumps have more uniting them than dividing them, but there are tendencies that differ. My sense is that female chumps more typically have their standard of living gutted, while male chimps more typically have our time with our children gutted. Both nearly unbearable and wholly unfair.

  • I love the guy chumps here … they provided one of the most important supports when everything in my life was going to shit. And that is the knowledge that there are indeed many great guys out there when I was ready to try again. It would have been so easy to buy into the “all men suck” mentality based on my own experience and multiplied by the female chump stories here. But good character knows no gender.

    And so I hope that the guys here feel loved and supported and understood most if not all of the time. The venting that sometimes seems aimed at all men is really just rage directed at very specific men. You guys help so much without even knowing it and I hope we can do the same for you. <3

    • Thank you Dixie Chump!
      I married another chump a few years after my divorce from sparkly turd.
      It takes a chump to appreciate a chump!

  • Thank you CL. Single dad here, three kids. Mom’s with Schmoopie up the road. I’m down on the homestead holding the family together. I couldn’t talk about this for months, if anything because of my fear of making it more real to me. Slowly I began reaching out to those closest to me. Meanwhile my W assembled her A team of “yes” friends and counselors that continue to validate her narrative that I must really suck since I wasn’t meeting all of her needs. I smile to myself, imagining the potential outrage of her women friends if it was I that started an affair with a former family friend and moved out of the family home while I blamed her for it all.

    There is a hell of a lot of shame that goes with this territory but I’m trying to stay on the high road for the kids’ sake.

    • It is amazing isn’t it? It still amazes me and I’m 2 years out since Dday. These female friends that cheered it on. The married with children women who go to church on Sunday but they are still right there with Cheater XW as her best buddies. I try to remind myself of XW’s uncanny ability to manipulate and con people. These other women are in her web. I tell myself this. It’s still hard though.

      I was so naive about the world before. Now I’m scared of it.

      • So true! Apart from one family member, everyone in STBXW’s family and her entire circle of friends not only accept her affair but have actively aided & abetted it. To me the worst example is one of our children’s godparents who gave XW money so she could go meet with OM, then pretended he knew nothing about that only for me to find photos of him smiling inanely with his arms around XW & OM just weeks later. *Trust That They All Suck*

        Might well be similar for others here in CN, but for me the knowledge that it wasn’t just the cheater spouse but their entire network of family & friends who seemed to have enjoyed the humiliation and belittling of the chump would keep me from ever wanting to go back.

        “There is a hell of a lot of shame that goes with this territory…” — I think that maybe the key word particularly for male chumps is “humiliation” — yes it is that inbuilt male pride and ego and I totally understand why in ye olden days so many duels were fought over this

      • The sicko friends …. this is for me the biggest red-flag I missed. While my STBX has an army of followers, the number of folks who know about the cheating was pretty short. But those two women are complete monsters, who denigrate and exploit and cheat on their partners…openly in front of their friends husband! Both are STBX’s oldest friends, who stuck by her after her first marriage/cheating/pregnancy/abortion/divorce shitshow. When almost everyone else who knew her decided she was trash and went NC.

        So, when the two best friends of your salt of the earth, goody goody wife are malignant cheating monsters … what does that say about her?

        • There’s that saying “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are”. Birds of a feather flock together, water seeks its level, etc.

          So glad you’re detaching yourself from that bitchy barnacle !

  • A big thank you Tracy & CN!

    You have been my rock for the past year or so while navigating an in-house separation that’s now about to hit 2 years (yes really TWO years and no I don’t want any prize in the Chump Pain Olympics for that one!). But I’m off into my own place from August so a new chapter starts. I don’t come back here as much as I used to but it’s still very useful and will continue to be if for nothing more than to remind me *Trust That She Sucks*

    I think the best discovery here, apart from meeting so many other male chumps, was to find out about Dr George Simon and his insightful research into Disordered Persons. If you haven’t already, go look him up.

    Will get a large glass of red later and sit down and devour all the many comments 😉

  • “When a woman gets cheated on, the man is a prick. When the man gets cheated on, he deserves it.”

    After going through the worst year and a half of my life, freshly divorced, and slowly slogging out of the shit and hitting the dating scene, I can honestly say that saying is pure bullshit. I never felt that here and I am so grateful that I found this place, among all these amazing people here. It doesn’t matter what sex you are, being chumped sucks.

    I went through hell, my kids have gone through hell (she involved them in her crap) and I wouldn’t wish the pain I suffered through on anyone…except for one person.

    Having said that, I own my home, I have full custody of my children (which is unheard of in Quebec), and I’m in the best shape of my life. We each need to take tiny steps and think of each one as a victory. Thanks CL and thanks to everyone here, you each made my ongoing recovery easier by leaps and bounds.

  • I’m one of the many men to read this forum. They probably don’t post because men tend to want to “fix” rather then “talk” about the situation. Chumplady was the wake up call for me to breakaway from the reconciliation industry complex and realize that my ex is not a good person to have in my life. Luckily I was able to get custody of the kids and pay no alimony or child support. My prayers go out to all the fellow men who not only have to deal with the trauma of infidelity, but also pay dearly through finances.

    All I can say to you guys is “We Survived!”…….now what do you want to do with the rest of your life?

  • Thanks 👊

    Paying child support while the dude (who was loaded) screwed my wife, lived in my house, and interacted with my daughters daily while I lived in a camper in total silence was some tuff stuff.

    But I’m meh now; some ptsd for sure, but I’m good.

    Thanks for the shoutout.

  • I am days behind in my CL reading, so this may well be too late to be read by the guy chumps out there. But, I thank you so sincerely and dearly!!! Several years ago I didn’t even know these life stories existed outside of Hollywood. It scares the hell out of me that there are so many chump stories and awful people in the world.

    The guy chumps here made me aware that there are so many good guys, men who want to be a part of their kids’ lives, and believed in their vows. Every time I’ve seen a guy post here I have devoured it! I wondered and still wonder, about the thoughts of all the chumped husbands and partners from the wreckage of asshole’s many, many affairs. I have so often wished I could have spoken to those guys because they would have known how I felt. I did speak to just one and I found it really healing.

    Xidiot was a serial cheater with a double life from the moment we met. 25 years together, 20 married before the the whole ball unraveled. I knew of 1 affair after 12 year married and fake-reconciled while he got really good at hiding his double life. I was a completely naive 18 year old who had never had a boyfriend to his 25 years when we met and started dating. It turns out his entire backstory was a lie. He didn’t have a college degree, he never played D1 basketball (a story he loved and told EVERYONE with elaborate detail,) on and on. The REAL him used a good-girl, naive, perfect hostess and all-around typical chump to look the part of the typical VP, white collar business man with two perfect kids, a nice house in the right suburb, etc. He worked out 2 hours every day to keep his perfect body and I was constantly criticized of I gained any weight or wasn’t firm enough as “letting myself go.” Outside of pregnancy I have never weighted over 115 and am 5’5″, but 115 and no longer having an ass you can bounce a quarter off of (after having 2 children) was “letting myself go.” He was also constantly annoyed I would not get breast implants. All of this had to have been to make him look good. But I was not to spend money on cloths and anything for myself because it was “a waste of money” because I didn’t work at an office anymore. I happily agreed and wanted any money to go to the kids and their beloved sports and activities anyway.

    In real life, he had 100’s (1000’s?) of affairs, the “business travel” was often meeting them all over the country, screwing colleagues, clients, subordinates, and he screwed tons of stranger women he met in hotel bars, (Literally, buy them a drink and slip them your room key movie scene BS,) alcohol abusing (self-medicating I bet,) and a huge porn addiction. I honestly don’t even think they were all women (based on some of his porn usage.) SO, while I figured out a few and some people finally told me a few stories after the divorce, I know who some were but not most. Soon after I quit wanting to know. I knew enough to be certain I did the right thing. Some of the women were reportedly married and I often wonder about their chumped husbands. (Sheesh, some of them may be you guys!) I can’t blame the co-workers too much because I know first hand how scary, revengeful, and threatening he is. I’d like to think they were just scared about losing their jobs or even personally scared.

    I didn’t fight for the money because I was so desperate to be done, scared from all the threats (yes, including my life) during the 1.5 year divorce process. When your whole life is a lie and the arrogant, shitty way you treat all people is based on the “I’m so superior” lies, you protect it. Fiercely! I couldn’t afford an attorney or a forensic accountant to find the hidden money anyway. I was grateful there was no surprise debt on my credit report and I walked the hell away happy for what I did get. We lied on the financial disclosures and separation agreement saying he earned less than he did and that I earned more. And I VOLUNTARILY signed it. I am mad at myself now of course, but that’s what a wreck I was! I left my very nice career after 3 years of marriage because I made more money than him and out-ranked him at the same company. He found it “emasculating” so I took one for the team (or so I thought) and did the domestic goddess thing to the extent of buying him his required fancy wardrobe and shoes so he could try them on at home and then return the ones he didn’t like, ironing his jeans, folding his designer outfits in very particular ways, having dinner on the table the second he walked in the door, 100% of kid everything (now I am very happy about this as I got to raise them with my values when he was gone constantly and didn’t care when he was there.) So, as a SAHM with a few 1099 side gigs, I was financial-future and career screwed! But you know what, I got 2 full-time, fairly menial jobs and did some publishing writing on the side. I actually DO have a useful college degree from a legit University, management experience, and a hell of a lot of business skills. I still work about 80 hours a week and resent the crap out of not being able to launch into a second career. BUT, I’m free from that toxic sociopath asshole. It was worth. every. penny. If I had fought for 50% I honestly suspect my most recent photo would have been on the news with “missing” written across it. I work so hard, am exhausted, the stress is unreal some days, but it was still worth. every. penny!

    Boy that turned into a rant, I must have some pent up CL comments lurking in my head. I don’t comment much because I am frickin’ working all the time, but I try to read each post at some point. This one was a treat and I enjoyed reading the comments as well.

    You chump men are awesome and I thank you for being a part of this community!!!

  • I don’t know how to leave her. She has had 4 affairs now, that I know about. I’ve almost convinced myself that its okay, that just the little bit of her I get is enough, that I don’t need more. That she just needs to time, she’ll come around, she’ll choose me again. How much time is enough? Two, three, ten years?
    I cry almost daily, and scream even more. My kids are confused as hell, and I have even had thoughts that they are not even mine. Not that I would ever stop loving either of them. I hate that she’s done the things she did. I hate that she tells me she still loves me. I hate that she keeps me on a string and I don’t have the guts to cut it. I even helped buy a fucking house, that I don’t get to live in.
    I had a guy on Reddit PM me after I had posted for advice, saying I was a cuckold. It felt really demeaning and sad to read that. But here I am today still holding on to every word she speaks. Every bread crumb she throws me, I greedily eat up, with no care for how I will feel that night when I am alone in my bed. Images of her with other men, racing through my head. Maybe I am exactly that. A cuckold.
    But there is still a part of me that is fighting, that says, no, no more. This is not a relationship. Leave. I just haven’t figured out how to let that side win. Or why the other side keeps winning.

    • “Or why the other side keeps winning.”

      Inertia. Fear. It may be hellish, but it’s your circle of hell and What If it’s worse if you leave it?

      It does get better when you leave it. Your brain and emotions will tell you otherwise at first (fear! inertia!), but little by little, it gets better.

      Particularly if you go consult a bunch of divorce attorneys (start with those that will give you a free initial consult because even if you don’t hire them – your wife CAN’T) and find out what your future is likely to hold if you separate/divorce.

      The way she is treating you IS NOT OKAY. You do NOT have to put up with it and in fact, if it helps, you putting an end to it is a good thing for you AND YOUR KIDS.

      I don’t know how old they are but when you put an end to her cake-eating, sit down and tell them that when you got married you BOTH agreed that no one was to have outside boyfriends or girlfriends. You didn’t break that promise, but mom did and therefore, things must change.

      Good luck DJ. The only way for this to get better is to address it. You’re already suffering. So are your kids. It is better to dump an abusive cheater than keep her.

      “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill

  • Hello everyone,

    Long time lurker, first time contributor.

    In Fall 2016, I caught my ex-wife cheating on me. She left a digital breadcrumb trail behind her. I do digital research for a living, so this wasn’t hard to figure out.

    My d-day was 6 weeks after my mom died from cancer. Fun times! I never really got to grieve mom.

    I stayed home with our daughter for 3.5 years and put my career aside. I had difficulty finding full-time work because of it. I worked 3 jobs at the same time, made about $70,000 a year while she made about $150,000.

    The best thing for me was the look on her face when I told her I had already filed for divorce. “how did you afford the attorney?” “how and when did you find the time to do all this?” She had no clue.

    I got 50/50 custody of our daughter. I even managed to get it so that there is no designation of who is the PPR (parent of primary residence) or PAR (or parent of alternate residence) which in NJ is a BIG deal, because Dads ALWAYS are the PAR.

    I also got half of the equity in the house, half her savings, half her pension, and alimony for 14 months. I even managed to get out of paying any Child Support. Oh and that $12,000 engagement I bought her, which she took off to go out on dates? She had to sell that to pay me. She took money and hid it, and my attorney found $30,000 in her account 1 day before settlement.

    I’ve never once doubted that I made the 100% correct decision.
    She has never said sorry.

    Our daughter is now 6. Some day she is going to ask me what happened. Two times while my ex-wife was out having the affair, I lied to our daughter – once knowingly (mommy’s at grammy’s house), and once unknowingly (mommy said she’s at work). That was the greaziest feeling ever, and I made up my mind that I am never going to lie to her again.

  • Men seeking a traditional marriage in these modern times are lost in an endless ocean. Quotes like “Happy wife, happy life.” belittle the man and elevate the woman at the detriment of the marriage. Society is not on the side of making marriages and families cohesive. We reward the consumption of items, it’s only natural that this would/will translate to the consuming of people. With modern social stigmas lapsed and the advent of birth control the traditional fairy tale of; happily ever after is fading into the past. Pew Research has statistical charts showing people are not getting married nor having kids. Times have changed and will continue to alter what we preserve as normal. It would behoove a traditionalist man to separate the idealism/fantasy of the perfect marriage from the reality of the social culture in which he lives.

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